National Federation of Indian Railwaymen
3, CHELMSFORD ROAD, NEW DELHI – 110 055
Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC)
International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
Sub: Retrograde recommendations of 7th CPC – serious staff unrest-reg.
Responding to the points raised by the Federations, the Board (CRB, MS), have suggested to give specific cases for facilitating the Railway Ministry to consider and take necessary action at appropriate level for mitigating the injustice.
In this connection, the joint proposal of Federations (NFIR and AIRF) containing specific issues is enclosed for favourable decision.
(Dr. M. Raghavaiah)
RETROGRADE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE 7th CPC – SERIOUS STAFF UNREST – JOINT PROPOSAL OF THE FEDERATIONS (AIRF AND NFIR)
The Fedeiations feel sad to convey that the 7th CPC has not given any weightage to the unique, complex and hazardous nature of duties of the Railway employees belonging to various categories, The negative recommendations of the 7th CPC have generated anger and frustration among almost all the sections of the Railway employees in general besides among the Technical Supervisors (JEs’ SSEs), Technicians in various Technical Departments, Loco & Traffic Running Staff, lt is unfortunate to mention that, longer hours
of duty, “Excluded” classification under HOER, availability a all times to take call, working at remote places without basic necessities of life are although unique to the Railways and its employees, these factors were totally ignored by the 7th CPC while recommending revised Pay Matrix levels.
We place below brief details of the categories of the staff subjected to grave injustice and specially urge upon the Railway Ministry to take the issues to the Government for improving the 7tn CPC pay-Matirix levels.
(i) Technical Supervisors (JEs & SSEs)
Junior Engineers and Senior Section Engineers in Permanent Way, Works, Bridges, Track Machines, Carriage & Wagon, Loco, Mechanical, Electrical, S&T etc., are shouldering greater, responsibilities and providing full technical support to the Railways in ensuring maintenance, troubleshooting, prevention of failures and un-interrupted flow of services round-the-clock. While entry qualification of Junior Engineers is “Diploma plus lnduction training, Graduate Engineers are inducted as SSE in GP Rs,4600/- (PB-2), Vast majority of this category is of technically qualified engineers who are classified as “Excluded” under HOER and are expected to be available on duty round-the-clock for 24 hours aday. There is no career growth at all to this category asthe Group ‘C’ highest Grade Pay is Rs.4600/- (PB-2) only, thereby the directly recruited technocrats from open Market in GP Rs.4600/- will continue to remain the same recruitment Grade Pay except a very few who may reach the lever of Group ‘B’ (Gaz.).
While the 7th CPC has accepted (para 11.40.113) that there is an element of stagnation at SSE level, the Commission has unfortunately, not made any specific recommendation for their career progression. The SSEs in addition to their supervisory and technical duties are custodians oftores/material worth crores of rupees and equally responsible for establishment matters ofthe staff working under their control. lt is relevant totake note that SSEs had in the past were allotted pay scale of Rs.840-10401840-1200 (3rd CPC), which was lowered down over a period of time by the successive Pay Commissions, thus the Award given by Railway Labour Tribunal, headed by Justice N.M. Miabhoy and accepted by the Government was scuttled, lt is also to be noted that verticalnd horizontal reativities were disturbed since 4th – ‘Rs,4200/- CPC period onwards as the Sr. Technician and JE are in one and the same Grade pay of Rs.4200/-.
There is, therefore, need for placement of JEs & SSEs in higher levels of Pay Matrix of 7th CPC, ie. at level 8 & level 9 with provison for further career progression to the higher Pay Matrix levels, treating these levels as part of the cadp with appropriate status (Gazetted).
(ii) Technicians in Railways
The Technicians in various departments of the Railways are performing the duties of maintenance of tracks, assets, buildings, equipments, rolling stock, Signal/Telecom assets, overhead equipments of Electric Traction on Open Line, PoH activities in Workshops/manufacturing activities in Production Units and various other technical jobs under the open sky in all weather conditions, facing noise/dust pollutions in sheds, depots, yards, stations, throughout track lengths and also on running trains, The 7th CPC has ignored duties of unique nature performed by the technicians i all shifts round-the-clock, which are not comparable with the technicians of any other ministry/department. The Technicians are extremely unhappy and agitated over injustice done by the 7th CPC. The Railway Ministry had, in fact,’agreed for merger of Technician-II with Technician-l in GP Rs.2800/- (PB-I), but, however, the said proposal was procrastinated and kept pending for years by the Ministry of Finance, The Government, we are sure, will admit that he duties and responsibilities of the Railway Technicians are unique and not comparable with the Technicians working elsewhere.
The Railway Technicians, therefore, deserve tobe given higher replacement pay scales in the Pay Matrix for their career growth to Pay Matrix level 7 as “Master Technician”.
* Incidentally, it is mentioned that over 6 lakhs employees belonging to Technicians category are extremely unhappy over the injustice done by the 7tn CPC while recommending the levels in the Revised Pay Matrix. lt would, therefore, be necessary to improve 7th CPC Pay Matrix levels for Technicians.
(iii) Running Staff
(a) Loco Pilot Category
The entry qualification of Asstt. Loco Pilots GP Rs.1900/- is Matriculation plus ITI (NCVT). Those selected through RRB, after clearing the Aptitude Test and Aye-One standard medical examination aregiven rigorous training in general and subsidiary rules (open line) for performing train running duties in all weather conditions. lt is unfortunate that, the ALP Category has been give normal replacement Pay Matrix levels in place of existing Grade Pay Rs.1900 and 2400/. This is a unique category which deserves improved Pay Matrix levels. The High Level Safety Review Committee headed by Shri Anil Kakodkar, in fact, recommended for upward revision ofentry qualification as “Diploma in Engineering” (para 6.3), but unfortunately, said recommendation has not been considered by the Railway Ministry as also the VII CPC.
It is sad to note that the Pay Commission vide para 11.40. 63 has concurred with the views ‘ of RaiMay Ministry stating that “effectiveness of the Loco Pilots can be improved by revamping their training rather than enhancing the minimum educational qualification” in spite of the facthathe staff of this category are expected to possess knowledge on technical aspects of 19 types of locomotives, which are continuously upgraded with further improved technology, lt would, therefore, be necessary to abolish GP Rs,1900/ in the case of ALP category and upgrade GP Rs.2400/ to GP Rs.2800/ for placement in the Pay Matrix at appropriate levels.
The 7th CPC has failed to rectify the 6th CPC anomalies ofpay structure of Loco Pilot category, which has resulted in continuance of Loco Pilot (Shunting), Loco Pilot (Goods), Loco Pilot (Passenger) and Loco Pilot (Mail) in one and the same Grade Pay of GP Rs.4200/ although the responsibilities and accountabilities are higher when they are promoted after rigorous training and through selection process from the same Grade Pay to same Grade Pay. There is, therefore, justification for allotment of higher pay Matrix levels (Level 7 & Level 8) to Loco Pilot Category.
Incidentally, it is mentioned that when the sth CPC had done injustice to the Loco Pilot (Mail) category, the issue was taken up by the Federations at the level of Government, and the Union Cabinet had approved for allotment ofPay Scale of Rs.6000-9800 to the Loco Pilot (Mail/Express) w.e.f. 01/10/1996, upgrading it from Rs.5500-9000 as recommended by the 6th CPC. Unfortunately, 6th CPC has brought which is equivalent to that of Loco Pilot (Goods).
(b) Traffic Running Staff
The 7th CPC has failed to rectify the anomalous Pay Structure of Train Guards category. While the entry Grade Pay Rs.28001 of Guard (Goods) is continued, the Sr. Goods Guard, Passenger as well as Mail/Express Guards are placed in replacement Pay Matrix of GP Rs.4200, thus the Grade Pay is one and the same even on promotion with no adequate motivational benefit. In the case of Station Master Category, the Tttr CPC has rightly recommended abolition ofGP Rs.28001 on the ground that the entry qualification is “Graduation”, but unfortunately, for Train Guard Category, though the educational qualification is Graduation similar to that of the Station Master, the existing Grade Pay Rs.2800/ has not been upgraded to GP Rs,4200f. There is, therefore, need to upgrade the Pay Matrix levels of Train Guards duly abolishing entry GP Rs.2800/- (PB-I).
(iv) Serious discontentment and frustration among the Apex Group ‘C’ Grade Supervisory Officials
In spite of effective presentation made by the Federations before the 7th CPC justifying the need to recommend Gazetted status to the Apex Group ‘C’ Supervisory Officials in various departments, the 7th CPC has unfortunately not given due weightage toseveral valid points placed before it, The Supervisory Officials inRailways are performing multifarious duties and their duty hours in each day are unlimited and they are accountable for any lapses, irregularities, failures etc. They are not even entitled to avail weekly rest under HOER. These are important field officials who contribute for efficiency, punctuality, quality, safety and productivity, The Federations, therefore, urge to take the issue to the Government for granting them Group’B’ Gazetted Status.
(v) There are some aberrations in the 7th CPC report in respect of designation ad Grade Pay of certain categories of staff, Those are required to be corrected in consultation with the Federations (e,9. para 11.40,62- page 740 of 7th CPC report).
(vi) The 7th CPC has recommended changes in promotional channel and direct recruitment in certain cases. These are required to be discussed with Federations before taking a final view (para. 1 1.40.1 – page 738 and 1 1,40.69 and 11 .40.70 – page 742 of 7rh cpc report)
(vii) A joint Committee of the RaiMay Board and both the Federations should be constituted to take into consideration the proposals made by the Federations through their respective memorandums to the 7th CPC, list out issues of each category ofRailway employees which are needed to be addressed for allotment ofproper Pay Scales and other benefits/ incentives within the prescribed time frame.
(viii) Running Staff related issues
Attention is invited to7tn CPC report – page 310 and 311 (para B.11.iB & 8.11.19 relating to
Running Allowance etc., for Running staff). In this context, we suggest that:-
(a) ln the wake of TA being multiplied by 2.25 and revised rate so arrived at, the rates of Running allowance are required to be revised duly taking 21 days revised TA plus 30% Pay Element for arriving at the revised rate of Running Allowance to the Running staff.(iX) National Pension System (NPS)
(b) The percentage Pay Element for Running Staff, i.e, 30% and 55% for various purposes should be continued,
(c) Additional Allowance allowed to Running Staff should be treated as “Pay” for all purposes.
(d) The existing procedure adopted for fixation of pay of Running staff on revised pay scale should continue.
(e) The procedure for adding 30% of pay for deployment in the alternative post of appropriate higher Pay Matrix level should be ensured.
(f) All the benefits admissible to Running Staff should continue till they are finally absorbed in the alternative posts on medical de-categorization.
(g) On Running Staff”issues relating to pay, rest rules etc., a separate note will follow (para 8.11.19 and 8,11.20 – page 310 and 311 of 7th CPC report).
(h) With regard to Rest Rules, the recommendations of D.P. Tripathi Committee should be discussed and improved with both the Federations for reaching consensus.
(i) The minimum Rest Hours from “signing off’should be 16 hours and rest hours plus periodic rest should be not less than 40 hours and during this period, the Running Staff should not be disturbed.
The Railways should be exempted from the New Pension System and the Old Guaranteed Pension/Family Pension should be restored to all the Railway employees irrespective of their date of appointment.
(x) Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB)
The bilateral agreement arrived at on Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) should be continued and improved, duly revising salary calculation limit to Rs,7000/ p.m. w,e,f, 01/04/2014 (para 15.28 and 15.29 – page 861 of 7th CPC report),
(xi) Dress Allowance
The Dress Allowance should be revised to not less than Rs.10,000/. (Rupees Ten Thousand) to all the staff who wear uniform while on duty.