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Driving schools protest over ongoing examiner strike
DRIVING schools all over Spain are demanding action from traffic authorities to end the examiner strike which has been ongoing for four months.
Pupils hoping to take their tests and who apply now will not get a date until 2018 due to the backlog caused, and many have had their tests cancelled at the last minute.
Strikes started in June over pay and conditions, meaning students who would normally spend their summer learning to drive and trying to pass their tests were unable to do so.
So far, over 123,000 tests have been postponed or cancelled.
Examiners want extra money, saying they are paid the same as office staff despite facing additional risks, and also complain there are not enough of them, meaning they often have to work double shifts.
A campaign group, La Plataforma Nacional 'Ni un día más sin examen' (National 'not one more day without a test' Association) warns that 'hundreds' of driving schools across the country may have to cease trading if the strike continues, which would mean a loss of around €60 million to the State.
The Plataforma has written an open letter to the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) calling for examiners to be given the extra pay they are calling for, a sum they say is 'modest'.
From June 2 onwards, examiners have downed tools every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, except in August, and have given the DGT until October 16 to 'respond' to their request.
If this response is satisfactory, they will cease their industrial action, but otherwise, they will carry it on through November and December.
Examiners want an extra €250 a month within the next two to three years at the most.
Driving school representatives from all over Spain staged a protest yesterday (Wednesday) outside the provincial traffic authorities' headquarters in Sevilla calling for the DGT to take action to bring the strike to an end.
The photograph shows an earlier protest, this time in front of the DGT's headquarters in Madrid, attended by examiners from all over the country including, as pictured, those from Málaga and Ciudad Real.
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