DVA workers to face voluntary redundancy scheme in autumn

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A voluntary redundancy scheme for those who lost their jobs at the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland is due to open in November.

More than 260 jobs were lost, mainly at County Hall in Coleraine as services were centralised in Swansea, Wales.

The Department of Environment (DoE) has said 150 of those 260 have been found permanent work.

A further 110 staff in Coleraine are doing temporary work for the Department for Social Development. This is due to end in December.

The DoE said: “A voluntary early release scheme is being developed to ensure any staff still surplus in December can leave voluntarily if they wish, or be redeployed to vacancies created when others leave under the scheme.

The decision to centralise services led to protests when it was announced by the government in March. Since From July 21, all UK-wide vehicle licensing has been delivered by the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea.

The DVA had previously said that a redundancy scheme would be “a last resort”.

The trade union, Nipsa, said it understands the redundancy scheme will be restricted to administrative assistant (AA) and administration officer (AO) grades.

It’s believed that the scheme will most likely be run on a civil service-wide basis, but with geographic restrictions.

“Staff are likely to have four or five weeks to express an interest in leaving and that the redundancies will take effect in March.

NIPSA are “extremely concerned” that the scheme ‘falls far short of what was expected of political representatives’ in protecting jobs.”

The Department for Finance and Personnel confirmed a voluntary redundancy scheme was “currently being taken forward”.

Meanwhile Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today called on the Minister for Transport in London to deal with the problems that local people here face licensing their vehicles.

Minister Durkan has written to Minister Robert Goodwill, highlighting problems NI motorists are facing both taxing and registering vehicles.

“I am very disappointed and concerned about ongoing problems that people are facing,” said Mr Durkan in a statement.

“My officials have raised these concerns with Swansea and I have written to the Minister for Transport to highlight these problems and to make it clear in no uncertain terms that Swansea needs to up its game.”