The branch secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association (CPSU/CSA) said assessors at the nine Department of Transport (DoT) centres, including Mirrabooka, completed between nine and 10 driving tests a day and if the assessors were unable to work on a particular day there was no backfill, meaning clients were let down and had to join the waiting list for another test day.
�Our members know the most efficient way to deal with the problem is to either employ driving assessor team leaders to coordinate and conduct the tests when people are sick or on annual leave or employ relief assessors,� she said.
�Even providing relief staff for just a couple of licensing centres would mean more people are not being let down by the State Government�s budget cutbacks.�
A DoT spokeswoman said the department made every effort to accommodate all practical driving assessments (PDAs).
�If an assessment is cancelled, a replacement booking is usually made within two to five working days,� she said.
�DoT has 64 permanent driver assessor positions and 27 multi-skilled staff that are able to conduct PDAs at short notice.
�DoT also has strategies such as arranging �back-to-back� assessments in place to minimise customer inconvenience.�
Ms Walkington said the agency did use customer service officers working on front counters (and who were qualified) to fill the void but that was not always practical.
�We already have members on the front counters who are dealing with workload issues and taking them off their regular duties will only increase the queues at licensing centres,� she said.
�Very little thought has been given to the impact it will have on service delivery. �Employing relief assessor staff is not outrageous or expensive compared with the number of people being inconvenienced currently.�
The DoT spokeswoman said since December 2013, the number of available PDAs for all classes of vehicles had increased annually by about 11,000 due to the removal of mandatory age-based testing.