Millennium Post

Consider contract staff demands: CAT to Prasar Bharati, DD News

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has asked the Centre, Prasar Bharati and DD News to consider the grievances of contractual employees demanding salary and others benefits at par with regular staffers.

The Tribunal was hearing a plea by 75 contractual employees of DD News alleging they have been "discriminated and humiliated" when compared to regular employees of the channel. The doctrine of 'Equal Pay for Equal Work' was not being followed, they said.

The principal bench of CAT asked authorities to decide on the various representations of contractual employees within 90 days.

"The Original Application (OA) is disposed of without going into the merits of the case, with a direction to the respondents (Centre, Prasar Bharati and DD News) to decide the representations of the applicants by passing a reasoned and speaking order within 90 days from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order, in accordance with law," bench members Justices V Ajay Kumar and P K Basu said in the order last month.

The petition had demanded improved pay and service conditions for contractual employees.

"Direct the respondents to grant salary, remuneration and all other entitlements to the present applicants, on the basis of doctrine of 'equal pay for equal work', equivalent to the regular employees," the plea said.

The Tribunal noted that the employees had submitted representations to the authorities but no order had been passed till date. The plea stated that these employees worked in inhuman conditions and there was "great instability".

"All leaves except for 15 days in the year are without pay. There are no benefits like maternity leave, social security, insurance etc. No risk cover for the field jobs either to male or female employees," it said.

They also claimed that they had been working with the channel for around 14 years on consolidated remuneration, without PF, without medical facility, without social security and without annual increments. The absence of pay parity was causing financial hardships to applicants, the plea said.
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