May I say, Mr Speaker, what a pleasure it is to be back under your chairmanship in this new role as Minister of State for the future of transport?
On 7 October, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency entered into talks with the Public and Commercial Services Union. They have met three times. The DVSA is expecting to continue the talks, which are supported by ACAS, at the start of November.
On 30 August, I met DVSA employees in Nottingham who are taking industrial action, as they want to work in an environment free from bullying and where they are listened to and valued. My hon. Friends the Members for Gedling (Vernon Coaker) and for Nottingham South (Lilian Greenwood) and I wrote to Baroness Vere of Norbiton requesting a meeting to make these representations. She declined. Will the Minister or the Secretary of State take that meeting instead, so that they can hear important feedback from critical members of staff?
For the benefit of the House, I should say we are talking about the modernised employment contract for DVSA staff. This is a matter between the DVSA and staff. The impact will be two hours extra a week for training, which increases the working hours from 35 to 37. Lunch breaks are being protected. We very much hope that the union returns to the negotiations with the DVSA. I might perhaps gently ask the Labour party, which is reliant on the unions, to exercise their good influence on behalf of the travelling public.