RTC unions call off strike, A.P. Govt concedes 43 pc salary hike
The APSRTC employees' unions called off their eight-day-old strike on Wednesday afternoon with the A.P. Government conceding their demand for 43 per cent fitment in the talks between the Cabinet sub-committee and the employees' unions.
The Cabinet sub-committee comprising Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Transport Minister Sidda Raghavarao and Labour Minister Atchannaidu had been holding talks with the unions for the last few days here even as the latter were firm on their pay hike with 43 per cent fitment.
The issue also figured in Tuesday's Cabinet meeting when Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu directed the sub-committee to arrive at a decision that would satisfy the employees as well as financially strengthen the Corporation.
The decision to give 43 per cent fitment would result in an annual burden of Rs.960 crore on the corporation, but the Government has no immediate plans to increase the fare, according to the ministers.
Later addressing the media persons here, Mr. Atchannaidu along with Mr. Raghava Rao, RTC union leaders Padmakar, Y. Srinivasa Rao and Managing Director N.Sambasiva Rao said that the arrears of last two years from April, 2013 amounted to Rs.1,200 crore.
But in view of poor financial position of the corporation with about Rs.4,000 crore losses and Government not in a position to bail out the Corporation, employees have agreed to the condition that arrears would be paid along with the retirement benefits of the employees as and when they retired.
The corporation, however would disburse the new pay scale arrears for April and May, 2015 in two instalments during Dasara and Deepavali festival, he said.
RTC incurs Rs.100 crore loss
Mr.Raghava Rao said that the RTC incurred a loss of Rs.100 crore in the last eight days. He appreciated the unions for agreeing for payment of two years' arrears along with retirement benefits.
Both the ministers said that the Cabinet sub-committee would continue to meet and explore ways and means to consider the suggestions given by the unions for strengthening the corporation financially. They said that in future unions should not resort to strike but resolve issues through discussions.
APSRTC MD Sambasiva Rao said that though 70 per cent of bus services became operational people faced hardships. He thanked the Cabinet sub-committee for their initiative in resolving employees' demands.
Employees Union leader Padmakar and NMU leader Srinivasa Rao thanked the Chief Minister, Cabinet sub-committee and apologised to the public for inconvenience due to strike.
KCR announces 44 pc basic pay hike for RTC employees
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday announced a 44 per cent hike in basic pay for all RTC employees working in the 10 districts of the new State leading to end of the eight-day strike. The CM also announced regularisation of services of 4,230 contract employees in Telangana with immediate effect.
Fifty per cent of the arrears of pay due from April 2013 would be paid in three instalments and the remaining 50 per cent in the form of Government bonds after five years.
In what was described a historic move since the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation was established in 1958, those who gained in the windfall include over 22,000 drivers and about 21,800 conductors, apart from about 6,700 mechanics, 3,900 supervisors and 275 officers and other employees.
In all, the pay hike will benefit about 56,740 employees of the corporation who are involved in the running of 10,479 buses from 95 depots across Telangana.
As soon as the Chief Minister made the announcement at the conference hall in the 'C' Block of the Telangana Secretariat, there was a roar of applause from employees and slogans hailing 'KCR' and 'Jai Telangana' rent the air in the Secretariat campus.
The last `pay hike was 24 per cent in 2009 and before that it was 12 per cent in 2005, 9.5 per cent (2001) and 9 per cent (1997).
Chief Minister's announcement also brought the curtains down on the eight-day strike by the employees demanding salary hike.