The 26 owners of driving schools in Paphos staged a one-hour work stoppage on Friday to protest the lack of examiners, leading to a delay in new drivers taking their driving test.
The owners gathered with their cars in the Dasoudi area of Paphos and then drove to the district offices of the transport ministry, which is responsible for the hiring of staff.
As they announced, there is now a five to six-month waiting list for those who want to obtain a personal or professional licence.
In a statement, they said drivers of professional unions Paseso and Sisok and individuals have repeatedly sent letters to the responsible department without being offered solutions.
Union heads Savvas Efthymiou and Efthyvoulos Houlos said not only is the Paphos division understaffed but the transport ministry management has also decided to send two Paphos examiners to Limassol every day, where there is also a lack of examiners.
“While in Paphos the waiting list grows, school owners from Limassol manage to secure up to eight exams per day, making the problem even worse for us,” they complained.
Commenting on the strike, Transport Minister Vassiliki Anastasiades said the ministry is in the process of hiring technicians, creating additional posts and encouraging examiners in Paphos to work overtime.
This is not the first time driving school owners complained about the lack of examiners. In June 2018 Limassol owners went on strike over the matter. At the time they said there was an excess number of staff in Paphos with an examiner’s licence who did not have enough work.