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Road transport staff call off stir after OSRTC assurance

BHUBANESWAR: The bus services took a hit in the State on Monday after the All Odisha State Road Transport Staff Association announced a three-day strike starting Monday, over their five-point charter of demands.However, the stir was called off by 3 pm after Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) Chairman-cum-Managing Director, KB Singh called an emergency meeting around 11 am and assured to fulfill at least two demands. The association president Nalini Ranjan Pati told this paper that their demands included, regularisation of about 1100 contractual employees, equal pay for equal work as per Supreme Court order, formation of a screening committee for deciding on recovering the losses from the staff, dearness allowance (DA) to the staff on par with government employees and formation of a divisional selection committee for giving promotions. The association alleged that in absence of a divisional committee, drivers, conductors and other staff, who are entitled to promotions are unable to get the benefits.”The government employees are getting 132 per cent DA as per the 6th Pay Commission, but the contractual staff are getting 51 per cent allowance for the same,” Pati said.Meanwhile, the association has accepted OSRTC’s proposal that till regularisation of contractual employees is pending, they will be given 20 per cent more remuneration against their current pay, from April 1. “Once that gets effective, a driver who is drawing `8,800 will get `1,720 more starting April,” Pati said.

The corporation has also agreed to form a screening committee and a divisional selection committee, Pati said and added that “if they fail to do so, we will again call a State-wide strike.The staff association had earlier moved Orissa High Court seeking direction to the authorities for implementing the apex court’s order of equal pay for equal work.

The High Court is yet to issue a direction in this regard.

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