The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) management, has entered into an agreement with a workers’ union led by the Shiv Sena. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed grants the employees a 17 per cent hike in basic pay, that is, about Rs 5,000 to Rs 12,000, according to their grade. It is reported that the pay hike will come into effect in the September salary itself. The employees will also receive Diwali bonus next month, ranging between Rs 11,000 to Rs 12,000.
Led by the BEST Sanyukt Kamgar Kruti Samiti (BSKKS), the employees had gone on a hunger strike demanding a new wage agreement. As per the president of BSKKS, the terms of the MoU will first be examined by the workers and a decision will be taken only if the terms are agreeable to all the employees.
Employees are not yet certain whether the MoU is legal and whether it will work as well as a wage agreement. While the MoU focusses only on a certain section of the wage agreement that deals with hike in basic pay, the other factors dealing with promotions and overtime pay are yet to be formulated. Once that is done, a wage agreement will be signed in November.
It is claimed that Rs 1,150 crore have been allotted to adjust the increment for the coming five years, on the basis of the 7th Pay Commission.