Air India pilots still waiting for govt nod for common pay structure

Under the common pay structure, flying allowance will be paid only in rupees and not in dollars.

Air India pilots still waiting for govt nod for common pay structure

Mumbai: As many as 500 Air India pilots are awaiting government's nod for the common pay structure recommended by the Dharmadhikari committee in 2012, nearly six months after the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) consented to it.

According to sources, the IPG gave consent to the common pay structure in October 2017, following which the proposal was sent to the Civil Aviation Ministry for its approval, which is still "awaited".

The Dharmadhikari panel had submitted its report to the government way back in January 2012, calling for common pay and allowances as per the norms for other public sector enterprises.

The IPG represents the Boeing wide-body fleet at the flag carrier.It agreed to accept the common pay structure for pilots in line with the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) guidelines.

Under the common pay structure, flying allowance will be paid only in rupees and not in dollars, the IPG had said. Besides, pilots' flying allowance hours will be reduced to 70 hours per month from 80 earlier. However, they will be entitled to higher over-time fees.

When contacted, an Air India spokesperson declined to comment, saying it is an internal policy issue. The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), which represents the Airbus fleet pilots at the state-owned carrier, has long ago accepted the recommendations.

Meanwhile, Air India has decided to promote some 100 pilots to the executive rank as part of the level-mapping exercise, sources said. "At the time of merger, a section of Air India narrow-body (erstwhile Indian Airlines) pilots got promoted. On the other hand, a section of wide-body (Air India) pilots had not got any promotion since 2007, resulting in anomalies," they said.

The promotion of 100-odd pilots is aimed at removing such discrepancies, sources said. Once the agreement is in place, the pilots in Air India will have a uniform salary structure for both the Airbus and Boeing fleets, as per the sources.

Following the decision to merge the two airlines in 2007, various processes were to be integrated within 18-24 months, including HR. To arrive at common structure, the ministry constituted a committee of external experts under Justice Dharmadhikari.

The panel submitted its report in January 2012, which was further examined by a three-member inter-ministerial committee to suggest a time frame for implementation.

The inter-ministerial panel submitted its report in May 2012, and subsequently an implementation-cum-anomaly rectification committee was set up to implement the recommendations of the panel. 

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