[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he nearly 28,000 employees of the State-owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will get a monthly salary hike ranging between Rs.1,662 and Rs.6,143 as per an agreement signed on Tuesday between the recognised trade unions and the KSRTC management.

Besides, the employees will get 16 per cent Dearness Allowance (DA) arrears along with the salary for the month of July. The wage pact was signed in the presence of Minister for Transport Aryadan Mohammed by Chairman and Managing Director of KSRTC K.G. Mohanlal with representatives of the recognised unions, KSRTEA and Transport Democratic Federation (TDF).

The wage pact signed will have a validity of five years from March 2011 to September 29, 2016. The KSRTC will have to incur an additional monthly expenditure of Rs.11.13 crore.

The wage pact would have to be approved by the KSRTC board and the government should give its clearance, Mr. Mohanlal said.

Empanel employees, who had completed eight years on February 28, 2011, and CLR employees, who had completed 25 years, will be made permanent. All temporary staff of the Corporation will get a hike of Rs.30 in their salary. There are 12,000 empanel staff. Henceforth, the training period of the mechanical staff will be considered for salary, increment, pension, and other allowances.

As per the wage pact, there will be a master scale and 11 time scales. The new pay scale had been worked out by adding 64 per cent DA to the basic pay, 10 per cent of the basic as fitment, and half per cent weightage for every completed year subject to a maximum of 15 per cent. The gratuity limit has been increased from Rs.3,30,000 to Rs.7,00,000. Medical reimbursement had been introduced for the staff.

Drivers in the KSRTC will also get the status of gazetted rank and all employees having 12 years of service will get the ‘through out system’ pass. The basic qualification of the conductor will henceforth be Plus Two pass and that of the driver ninth standard. The 3,384 empanel staff who had been made permanent will move to the second grade once the wage pact is implemented.

The minimum pension had also been increased from Rs.2,500 to Rs.4,500 and the pensioners will get 12 per cent fitment benefit and Rs.300 as medical allowance. The appointments under the dying in harness scheme will be made within six months and it has been part of the pact.

Five per cent of the appointments to the post of driver, conductor, and junior assistant will be reserved for those in the bottom level. Steps will be taken to expedite computerisation in the KSRTC. Stay services will not be operated to areas where stay room facilities are lacking.

The KSRTEA was represented by LDF convener Vaikom Viswan, K.K. Divakaran, Jose Jacob, and Vidyananda Kumar and the TDF by its president Thampanoor Ravi, MLA, R. Sasidharan, and R. Ayappan.

Source: The Hindu