Saturday, February 17, 2018

RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY CWC MEETING AT ERNAKULAM ON  11th & 12th Feb 2018 


1. RUNNING ALLOWANCE AND PAY ELEMENT 

The CWC meeting took a serious view of the moves being made by the Railway administration to dilute the RAC 1980 formula aiming at depriving the running staff of their legitimate 30% pay element part and TA rates applicable to their respective grades in the running allowance, through deceptive methods. The meeting demands the Railway administration to prescribe KMA rates strictly in accordance with the RAC 1980 formula. Any deviation will attract the ire of the running staff affecting the industrial relations in the Indian Railways. This meeting also makes it clear that if the Railway administration deviates from the time tested RAC 1980 formula which is holding the field for the last several decades since 1980, the running staff will have no other alternative except to resort to direct action and the responsibility for such action will squarely lie with the Railway administration alone. 

2. MODIFICATION REQUIRED IN SPAD PENALTY REVIEW 

This Association welcome the revised guiding norms for imposition of punishment on LP/ALP in case of SPAD vide RB letter dt 08-01-2018, as a preliminary progressive step of relief to the running staff in SPAD cases. 

This meeting demand to extend the relief granted during reception of a train, for the SPAD incidents at reception signals and starter to be extended to IBSS and automatic signals. We also demand to extend it for SPAD at dispatch signals also. 

Further this meeting requests the RB to consider the following demands as per the recommendations of various accident enquiry committees. 

a) The strong recommendations of RSRC1998 and many committees there after “that SPAD, at the very least not having any consequences should be removed from the RB order on minimum penalty”. 

b) For SPAD without consequences counseling and necessary refresher course may be the corrective steps as in advanced Railways, without resorting to imposition of penalty. 

c) In the cases of SPAD the ALP should not be taken up under DAR except when it is proved that the ALP failed to operate Emergency brake valve when LP became incapacitated. 

d) We demand to extend the relaxation given in penalties to past cases as well, and all penalized employees may be given a chance to file revision petition at the appropriate level so as to get the releif. 

3. SELECTION MODE OF LOCO INSPECTORS 

At present Loco inspectors are selected under General selection. In this process of selection Loco Pilots (Goods) are selected as Loco Inspectors and they are nominated to monitor and counsel Loco Pilots(Mail) and Loco Pilots(Passenger) about driving skills. The knowledge gained out of driving experience is more important for monitoring and counseling crews on line in view of safety. Moreover the Task force committee vide para 24.8.1 states, “Loco inspectors must not only be experienced but also drawn from senior levels of the cadre. We must revert to the pre 2009 norms for selection of Loco inspectors. All Loco inspectors must be experienced Mail/Express Drivers”. The Mechanical Traction Directorate was given three months time limit for implementation. 

This meeting demand to implement the above recommendation at the earliest. 

4. ON DUTY HOURS/REST 

The High power Committee after elaborate study has recommended night duties for Loco Running staff shall be limited to Two consecutive night duties and 16 hrs/8 hrs rest at home station/outstation respectively, irrespective of duty hours involved in the previous trip to ensure safety as well as the welfare of staff and their family. But to our dismay the very recommendation was diluted and distorted. 

Hence this meeting demands the following norms to be adhered to while preparing roster for coaching trains. 

a) 16 hrs/8 hrs rest at home/outstation. 

b) The consecutive night duties shall be limited to two in a week. 

5. FILLING UP OF VACANCIES 

The vacancies in loco running category as on 01-04-2016 was about 24,000 as stated in the report of parliamentary committee on Railways. Now after a lapse of 2 years, these vacancies would have been increased to more than 30,000. The short comings in assessment of vacancies like Retirement, Voluntary Retirement, medical decategorisation, transfer request, adequate trainee/ leave reserve as per operating manual, staff utilized on other duties etc, which causes increased burden on the staff working on line and affects the smooth and cordial working atmosphere in field. To curb this critical situation, the HLSRC and Task Force committees had recommended to keep 100% standby list of ALPs by RRBs. 

Recently Govt. has replied in Rajya Sabha that the vacancies in the cadre of Loco running staff as on 01/04/2017 was 17457 (17%). Though we have dispute on the figures, we demand that that recruitment drive should be atleast for 35000 vacancies of ALPs instead of 17000 now notified. 

6. IDT/IRT 

The inter division transfer process is to be streamlined. At present the discretionary powers vested with divisional authorities cause hardships to the applicants as the applications are being rejected by citing the vacancies in the division. 

This meeting urges IDT/IRT applications are to be forwarded and registered according to the time schedule given in the Railway Board Order and in no case the applications be rejected. 

Also it is demanded that while enrolling newly recruited ALP of RRB/GDCE, all the IDT /IRT requests are to be considered simultaneously in the interest of divisions, staff and family welfare. 

7. CARRYING ONLINE EQUIPMENTS BY LP 

a. The recent Railway Board orders dt 07-02-2018 for supplying trolley bags so as to eliminate line boxes as a trial measure in SCR and NR is highly unfair and hence protested. 

The very order not only burdens the LP but also lowers the status and dignity of LP and also in practice, it will cause more stress and strain physically and mentally during train working. 

Hence this meeting demands to withdraw the above order and all the Loco Pilot’s equipments under G&SR and other manuals shall invariably be provided in the loco cabs itself. Until such time the present line box system shall be continued. 

b. As also the toolkits proposed to be carried by ALP as per the orders of RB is highly objectionable and overburdening the ALPs. 

c. The common mini line box introduced in SC railway in which the GRS,Accident Manual, Trouble Shooting Directories, WTT, Walkie Talkie etc are not provided, to be withdrawn immediately. 

d. This meeting demand to withdraw the proposal of issuing toolkits to ALPs as the ALP are working along with LP and thus the need of carrying of toolkit does not arise at all. 

8. RE-ENGAGEMENT OF THE RETIRED STAFF 

This meeting strongly protests against the reengagement of retired staff which is detrimental to safety, which the Government is pursuing as a calculated move of implementing the recommendation of Bibek Debroy Committee, to contractise 5.7 lakh permanent post in open line. This meeting demands instead of reengaging the retired staff, the recruitment process has to be expedited with proper assessment of vacancies. 

9. DRESS ALLOWANCE. 

Now the 7th CPC has prescribed Rs5000 as Dress allowance for Loco Running staff category. Having the nature of working in outdoor and oil/greasy environment with more outstation detention and lesser Home availability the Dress allowance is to be increased to Rs10,000, so as to have more sets of quality uniforms to instill pride in their work. 

This meeting urges the Dress allowance has to be increased to Rs 10,000/- per annum. It is also urged that dress allowance has to be dispersed invariably all over Indian Railways. 

10. CREW LINKS WITH INDEPENDENT HEADQUARTERS REST AND PERIODICAL REST. 

The Regional Labour Commissioner (C), Bangaluru, vide order no. 95/01/2000-B2 dated 22/10/2001 declared that the trip rest of 16 hours and the weekly rest should be independent of each other, and should not run concurrently or overlap each other. The said decision reached its finality by the Judgement of Hon High Court of Karnataka in WP No. 6607/2010 dated 13/04/2012. 

Even after the above said final orders, the Ministry of Railways still framing rosters and crew links for Loco Running Staff in such a way that the Periodical Rest and Headquarters rest are given concurrently and not independently and forcing the workmen to have a Periodical Rest of hardly 6 hours in 22hrs or 14 hours in 30hrs as the case may be. It may please be noted that entire employees whether they are under Government service or in private/informal sector are allowed with a day's rest on 7th day of the week. They break off duty at 17 hours on Saturday and enjoy one day rest on Sunday and resume duty on 9 hours on Monday that works out to 40 hours. Those who are working in administrative office enjoy Saturday and Sunday as rest days which work out to 64 hours. Even the bonded labourers in the earlier centuries were allowed with one day rest in a week. The High Power Committee on HOER has also recommended an enhanced 40 hours PR. 

But at zonal/ Divisional level, it is yet to implement independent HEADQUARTERS REST and PERIODICAL REST on the pretext that RB has not advised to implement Hon'ble Karnataka High court orders for Headquarters rest and Periodical Rest independently for Loco Running staff and hence Headquarters rest and PR are given concurrently as a matter of practice. 

This meeting request for necessary order for Headquarters rest and Periodical Rest independently and NOT concurrently for Loco Running staff, duly incorporating in the crew management system (CMS), in the interest of safety, staff and family welfare to ensure natural justice. 

11. UNIFORM APPROACH IN AWARDING PENALTY IN ACCIDENT CASES. 

After the accident enquiries, the staff are fixed with responsibilities. It is the experience of running staff that while awarding penalties, Loco running staff are subjected for heavy penalties than others those who are root cause or equally responsible for that accident. This kind of differential treatment has developed serious resentment among loco running staff. This Association wish to bring the penalty awarded in the recent derailment accident of YERCAUD EXPRESS (22649 Exp) at Arakkonam on 14th May 2017 for your kind perusal. The SAG level enquiry committee has fixed the primary responsibilities on SSE/Sig/AJJ, SrTech/Signal/AJJ, SM/panel/AJJ, Loco pilot and Guard of that train. But Loco Pilot was awarded with reversion with reduction of pay whereas other staff belongs to Traffic and Signal were awarded with withholding of increments or pay reduction for 1 or 2 years. This is a glaring example of discrimination. 

This meeting demands to issue necessary instructions to all concerned ensuring that Loco Pilot shall be dealt fairly on par with the staff of other departments while awarding penalties. 

12. DELAY IN DISPOSAL OF APPEAL AND REVISION PETITIONS IN DAR CASES. 

This meeting welcomes the timeline prescribed for disposal of DAR cases. Whereas the timeline for Appeal and Revision stages in DAR process are yet to be framed. Many such appeals ,Revision petitions are pending years together. 

After the penalty advice, staff decides to appeal with fond hope of seeking justice and remedy in the justice delivery system. It is needless to mention that the penalties are for corrective measure and surely not with punitive attitude. In reality the staff are not only punished but disposal of the Appeals/Revision petitions are also delayed. The delay in forwarding appeals in DAR cases, even in Minor penalties are causing delay in disposal by Appellate/Revision authorities and also increases the anxiety. 

Hence this meeting demands to define the timeline for Appeal and Revision stages also. 

13. ON MINUTES ARRIVED ON TASK FORCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS 

This meeting wish to represent on the minutes of the Railway board meeting held on 08-12-2017 on task force committee on safety circulated vide letter no:-2017/safety-I/4/1 dt 17-01-2018, as follows. 

i) Qualification of ALP: (para24.62) 

HLSRC headed by Dr Anil Kokodkar and task force on safety has recommended Diploma in Engineering as minimum qualification for ALP. But unfortunately not accepting this recommendations by the railway board is detrimental to the Railways safety and punctuality as the Indian Railway are adopting New Generation Locomotive and Technologies in train operations. 

Hence in the interest of Railway Administration and train operations minimum entry level qualification of ALP shall be Diploma in Engineering. 

ii) Resuming from Leave: (para24.6.6) 

Loco crew should be called for duty not before 08:00 hrs after availing leave on the previous day, shall be made mandatory and included in the CMS program to ensure its effective implementation. 

iii) Provision of Audio-Visual recorders: ( Para 10.3.1) 

Attempts are made to watch the crew on locomotive with audio-visual recorders for the purpose of post accident analysis. 

Already crews actions are monitored and analyzed from the VCD, speedometer, FDCS ,TPWS etc. In addition to the above further monitoring the crew’s physical activities that too in the absence of ergonomically designed cabs, will increase the stress on the crew. 

Hence it is pleaded any audio-visual recorders continuously watching the physical activities of the crew shall be avoided. This is nothing but subjecting the loco crew to constant surveillance which will disturb him mentally from discharging his duties and it is uncalled for in the interest of safety. 

iv) Air conditioning of Loco Cabs: ( Para 10.3.3) 

Air conditioning of the loco cabs to be materialized in a time bound manner considering the working environment of loco crews. 

v) Selection of Loco Inspectors: (Para24.8.1) 

The selection of loco Inspectors shall be changed from General selection to selection as existed in pre 2009 norms so as to select most experienced loco pilots from senior levels of the cadre. 

vi) Posting of CCC/CPRC/CTLC : (24.8.2) 

CCC/CPRC/CTLC shall be drawn from Loco Pilot (Mail) cadre and not from CLI cadre. The Loco Pilot Mail posted in the above posts shall be given a tenure of 3 years and there after returned to parent running duty for an equal cooling off period to maintain smooth crew booking at the field level. 

vii) Refresher course for LP/ALP: ( para 35.5.1) 

The recommendation of task force is that each LP/ALP must undergo a refresher course of one week for every two years which should include G&SR, safety rules, and instructions and a simulator test. 

In this regard this meeting demands to increase 12 days’ duration of the Refresher course suitably according to the syllabus. 

14. PARITY IN PENSION BETWEEN PRE AND POST 2016 RETIRED RUNNING STAFF 

This meeting is welcoming the progressive decision of the Government of India in conferring parity in pension between pre and post 2016 retirees through notional pay fixation from CPC to CPC up to 7th CPC. The concordance table published for fixation of pension in case of stationary staff ensures the parity but the RB order dated 11.07.17 is not ensuring the parity in pension in the case of pre and post 2016 retiree running staff. The methodology adopted in the illustration is not in consonance with DOPT order OM no.38/37/2016-P& PW(A)dated 12.05.17 which reads 

“IT HAS BEEN DECIDED THAT THE PENSION / FAMILY PENSION WITH EFFECT FROM 1.1.2016 IN RESPECT OF ALL CENTRAL/CIVIL PENSIONERS / FAMILY PENSIONERS WHO RETIRED/DIED PRIOR TO 1.1.16 MAY BE REVISED WITH EFFECT FROM 1.1.2016 BY NOTIONALLY FIXING THEIR PAY IN THE PAY MATRIX RECOMMENDED BY THE 7THCPC IN THE LEVEL CORRESPONDING TO THE PAY IN THE PAY SCALE/PAY BAND AND GRADE PAY AT WHICH THEY RETIRED/DIED. THIS WILL BE DONE BY “NOTIONAL PAY FIXATION UNDER EACH INTERVENING PAY COMMISSION BASED ON THE FORMULA FOR REVISION OF PAY”. In this order the notional pay in successive pay commissions shall be fixed corresponding to the “Pay” at the time of retirement or death of the employee. In the illustration it is not so which resulted in disparity than bringing parity between pre and post 2016 retired running staff. 

In order to achieve the parity and the object of government decision the notional pay in 7TH CPC pay matrix shall be arrived as illustrated below. 

This meeting demands to fix the notional pay in successive pay commissions on the last drawn pay applying the fitment formula of running staff in the successive pay commission to arrive at the notional pay in 7th CPC and then add 55% there of as pay element to calculate pension/ family pension so that parity can be achieved between pre and post 2016 running staff and there by the object of the above government decision can also be achieved. This will eliminate the injustice to pre 2016 retired running staff. 

15. ON PRIVATISATION OF RAILWAYS 

This meeting protest against the accelerating privatization of Railways through different ways of leasing out of Railway stations, Railway land etc. Engagement of “Gate Mitra” at unmanned LC gates on contract basis and support man for night patrol are nothing but contractisation of permanent posts. 

This meeting demand to abandon the anti people policies of privatization, contractisation and outsourcing of Railway jobs. 

16. ON NATIONAL PENSION SCHEME 

This meeting demand to exempt all Railway employees from NPS and all shall be covered under Railway pension rules. 

17. ON LIFTING OF SEALING ON EXEMPTION FROM IT ON RUNNING ALLOWANCE 

The sealing limit of Rs 10000 per month for exemption from Income Tax for the income gained through running allowance under section 10(14)(i) of IT act 1961, was fixed immediately after 6th CPC. We demand the Railway Board to pursue the matter further with IT department for exempting 75% running allowance from IT without imposing any sealing limit. 

18. ON INORDINATE DELAY IN NIT PROCEEDINGS 

The demands related to 6th CPC pay scales of loco running staff, running allowance, additional allowance and judicial review of HOER were referred to NIT, Mumbai for adjudication in 2011. Now 3 Judges were changed and nobody is posted for the last few months. The net result is that justice is delayed for more than 7 years. So this meeting demand the Ministry of Labour to do the needful to expedite the proceedings. 


Comradely yours 

                                                                                                          (M.N.Prasad)

Nagpur                                                                                         (Secretary General) 

16.02.2018

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