Wednesday, July 8, 2009

-DRAFT-

To

Miss. MAMATHA BANARJEE,
Hon’ble Minister for Railways,
Rail Bhavan, New Delhi.


Respected Madam,

On behalf of the Loco Running staff of the Indian Railways, this Union submits this representation before your august office, seeking redressal of their grievances.
The Loco Running Staff of Indian Railways have to play a vital role in ensuring safety and punctuality in train services. Their nature of duty, responsibility the environment on which they work are distinct and different from other Railway workers.
The rules, regulations and instructions pertaining to them too are different. All other Railway workers have a scheduled work, a fixed daily duty hours and regular and constant periodical rest in a week. In the case of Loco Running staff there are no fixed schedule for their duty, which in nature unscheduled according to the timing of train, no fixed duty hours, it may vary and extended up to 16 or 20 hours as the circumstances warranted. Periodical rest in a week has been converted to 4 Periodical Rest of 30 hours or 5 periodical rest of 22 hours in month, thus they are deprived of periodical rest in every week as of others. Continuous night duty for 5 to 6 nights. These distinct and difference is peculiar to Loco running staff of Indian Railway none of the other Government employees in India have such a pathetic circumstances. They are mercilessly treated as machines and not as human beings. In the course they could not look after their family nor keep their health, as others enjoying in Government service.
Therefore a special care be taken in their case. Various Committees and Commissions recognized this position. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railway headed by Com. Basudev Acharya .M.P recommended to fix the duty at a stretch to 8 hours after taking into account various position prevails in Railways, the National and inter national norms on working hours, the recommendations of International Labour Organisation etc. The recommendations were placed before the Parliament during 2004.
Recently the Running Allowance Committee submitted its report on 25th November 2008 the Committee held as follows, “the Running staff are crucial and vital to the running of Railway and the fact that the Running staff productivity is critical to the Indian Railway, so it is necessary their motivation level is maintained at the highest level, and upon the implementation of the 6th CPC recommendation, Teachers, Nurses, Section Officers / Sr. Section Officers of Accounts have been placed in the pay band which over shoot conventional Group – C scales. Crucial category like Running staff have to be seen in relation to the difficulties, skill level and environment in which they work and Running staff are distinct from all other Group – C staff and their case has to be accordingly appreciated.”
It seems that the Railway Board too have fully appreciated these position. In the midst of various constraints innumerable instructions were issued to enhance the welfare of Loco Running staff, But to our dismay it never touch the core issue. Their pay packet are not commensurate to the responsibility attached to the post, the skill required to, the health that ask to stay fit to perform the assigned duty. That leads us to explain our grievances in Pay, Allowances and Duty hours.

DUTY HOURS OF RUNNING STAFF AND PERIODICAL REST:-
The two important grievances which we urge can be enumerated as follows –
(a) Limitation of the duty hours at a stretch to eight hours as against the existing practice of about 14 to 16 hours.
(b) Grant of one calendar day rest per week as against the existing practice of a periodic rest of 30 hours each 4 times a month or 22 hours each for 5 times a month
The brief details of the above two grievances are given hereunder for immediate reference:
Right from the pre-independence days, the Loco Pilots / Engine Drivers of the Indian Railways wee subjected to work at a stretch for a period exceeding 16 or 17 hours, without any limitation. This led to various agitations and strikes, particularly between 1968 and 1972 and, finally, during 1973 an agreement was reached between the Association and the Hon’ble Labour Minister to the effect that the duty hours at a stretch of the Loco running staff would be confined to only 10 hours. This agreement was announced in the floor of Parliament on 13.08.1973.
Based on this agreement, the Railway Board issued an Order bearing No. E (LL) 77 – HER / 29 dated 31.08.1978 limiting the working hours of the running staff at a stretch to 10 hours. These instructions were, however, diluted by another Order bearing no. No. EE (LL) 78 – HER / 29 dated 03.04.1981, with the result, the Loco Pilot / Engine Drivers were again forced to work for unlimited hours at stretch, some times even going beyond 20 hours. Unable to bear the strain of such long and inhuman hours of work, further agitations and litigations followed and finally in a batch of petitions filed before the Hon’ble Central Administrative Tribunal, Ernakulam Bench by a large number of Drivers, it was held that the working hours were inhuman and appropriate further directions were issued.
In purported compliance with the directions, the Railway Board also issued another Order bearing No. E/LL/91 HER I-II dated 03.04.1992. These instructions, very flexible in character, had again taken the workers back to the position as it existed prior to 1978 or it may even be said the pre-independence days with the result now almost every Loco Driver, mostly Goods Drives / Asst Loco Pilots are expected to work at a stretch for more than 14 to 16 hours. Again agitations followed, including in the nature of complaints before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways, headed by Shri. Basudev Acharya, Hon’ble M.P made its recommendations that more than 8 hours duty at a stretch should not be extracted from the Loco running staff of Indian Railways and the said Report was placed before the Parliament during 2004.
It is also understood that the Hon’ble Minister of State for Railways Shri. Velu placed before the Parliament the action taken Report on various recommendations made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee and in this report, it is understood, there is no reference to the limitation of the working hours of the running staff to 8 hours at a stretch. In other words, even in this twenty first century of human advancement, the Loco Pilots of Indian Railway toil for 14 to 16 hours at a stretch that is with uncertain working hours. Such working conditions have not only substantially affected the health of the Loco Pilots as recognized by the Railways themselves in the safety related voluntary retirement scheme, the same also affects the safety of the traveling public to a large extent. The members of the family of the Loco Pilots including children also suffer from deprivation and total disenhancement and disappointment.
In this circumstances we humbly pray that at least your good self be pleased to show some human sympathy upon ourselves and limit the working hours of Loco Pilots to 8 hours at a stretch and thus save us from further destruction and peril.

b) Grant of one calendar day rest per week as against the existing practice of a periodic rest of 30 hours each 4 times a month or 22 hours each for 5 times a month :-
Apart from the daily working hours the periodic / weekly rest / holidays of the Loco Pilots is also uncertain as at present. If a Loco Pilots breaks off at 10.00 am a day and joins back for duty at 04.00 pm next day then that is called as availing of a periodical rest and if such 30 hours of ‘Periodical Rest’ is given for 4 days per month, it is stated that the statutory requirement of granting a weekly rest is fulfilled. If such a gap instead of 30 hours is confined to 22 hours, between two spells of duty and if 5 such spells given in a month, then also it is suggested by the Railway Administration that the statutory requirement of Periodical Rest is fulfilled.
As a matter of fact, under statutory provisions, after every spell of duty (which presently run between 14 and 16 hours) a Loco Pilot is entitled to 16 hours rest. If the statutory requirement of 16 hours rest after a spell of duty is also added each Loco Pilot is legally entitled to avail minimum of 46 hours of weekly rest in place of a weekly holiday as in the case of other Office staff.
The absence of such weekly holiday/rest added with uncertain hours of work has virtually shattered the family conditions / health of a large section of Railway employees. A vast majority of them have been rendered medically unfit before the attainment of their age of superannuation and another large section of Loco Pilots voluntarily retired and leave the service unable to stand the inhuman working conditions.

ASST. LOCO PILOT and their Pay Packet:-
The recruitment cadre to Loco Running staff category is Assistant Loco Pilot (ALP). The recruitment qualification is matriculation with ITI, preferably Diploma in Engineering. After recruitment through Railway Recruitment Board, they have to undergo a thorough and stringent medical examination The medical standard of ‘Aye One’ be maintained through out the service as Running staff.
There after they must undergo a 9 months stringent initial training on induction as Assistant Loco Pilot in which they have to undergo training in safety related Rules, regulations and instructions Mechanism / Operations of various types of Locomotives in service including attend of trouble, safety equipments on them, relevant aspects of various coaches / wagons and problems on run, Fire fighting, Function of Shed / Crew lobby Control Office, familiar with the section of Rail track, location of innumerable signals, Boards, Station lay outs, up and down gradients etc. The responsibility to ensure safety of the Passenger which are same as stringent as of Airline Pilots.
No such medical standard, stringent training, responsibility called from any Railway worker at the initial induction period. The lowest Railway of Central Government worker in the hierarchy, fitted in the Pay Band and Grade Pay of Rs. 5200 – 20200 + Rs. 1800. Without considering the highest standard of Medical fitness, stringent training , high responsibility and skill required to perform duty as Assistant Loco Pilot the same Pay Band has been allotted with a Grade Pay of Rs. 1900/- , just Rs. 100/- than the lowest post in the Government Service.
Enhancing a mere Rs. 100/- in Grade Pay alone than the lowest post in Government service to this vital and crucial category, i.e., the Assistant Loco Pilot is shock the mind of all. The Railway Board themselves agreed in this point. We have the pleasure to meet the Member Staff on 19th November 2008, and the Chairman, Railway Board on 6th February 2009. Both were agreed that the Grade Pay allowed to the ALP is not commensurate to the work done by them and the Railway Board is intended to rectify the anomaly and a Committee is appointed to examine the issue. In fact a Committee was constituted on 09.01.2009 to prioritize the issue pertaining to replacement Pay structure; its period was extended up to 3rd October 2009.
It may be noted that the vertical and horizontal relativity of Pay of ALP with the Guards that were existed from 1st CPC has been completely shattered. The following position shows the correct picture.
Period ALP / First Fireman Guard Asst. Guard
1st CPC Rs. 75 - 105 Rs. 60 - 170
3rd CPC Rs. 290 -350 Rs. 290 - 400 Rs. 225 - 270
Cadre restructuring of 1983 Rs. 290 -350 Rs. 330 - 500 Rs. 225 - 270
4th CPC Rs. 950 - 1500 Rs. 1200 - 2040 Rs. 950 - 1400
5th CPC Rs. 3050 - 4590 Rs. 4500 - 7000 Rs. 3050 - 4590
6th CPC Grade Pay - 1900 Grade Pay - 2800 Grade Pay - 1900

From the table it is seen that during 1st CPC the Guard Pay was much lesser than ALP. The Guard’s Pay was raised and made equal at 3rd CPC. The Pay of Guard surpassed the ALP in the year 1983 by way of cadre restructure by the Railway Board. 5th CPC further raised the Pay of Guard much above the ALP. 6th CPC followed suit. Now the ALP is at Grade Pay Rs. 1900/- and Guard is fitted against a Grade Pay of Rs. 2800/-. The Asst. Guard are with the Grade Pay of Rs. 1900/- but the responsibility attached to the post of ALP and Asst. Guards differ widely, so the same pay packet for them is absurd.
The duties of ALP has a sea change from 1st CPC to 6th CPC, responsibility increased, higher skills required, educational qualification made higher, stringent induction training; where as responsibilities and medical standard of Guards stand as it is from 1st CPC to 6th CPC.
We therefore request to reconsider the case of Asst. Loco Pilot of Indian Railways and to allow a Grade Pay of Rs. 2800/-.

LOCO PILOT and their Pay packet :-
The 6th CPC merged the scales of Rs. 5000 – 8000 and 6500 – 10500 to one Pay band of Rs. 9300 – 34800 with a Grade Pay of Rs. 4200/-. Where as the Post which have a scale of 6500 – 10500 were upgraded to a distinctive Grade Pay of 4600. So in fact two grades of Rs. 5000 – 8000 and 5500 – 9000 were merged into one.
The recommendation of the Commission on merger of these scales was that “it should first be seen, if the Post in the three scales can be merged without any functional difference”. If there are functional differences, it need not be merged. In the case of Loco Running staff post of Sr. Loco Pilot (Shunting), Loco Pilot (Goods), Loco Pilot (Passenger) and Loco Pilot (Mail) there are functional difference exist in performing duties and responsibility, therefore allowing same Grade Pay of Rs. 4200/- to all these posts need to be reviewed. A distinctive Grade Pay of Rs. 4200 4600, 4800 and 5400/-be allowed to each Sr. Loco Pilot (Shunting), Loco Pilot (Goods), Loco Pilot (Passenger) and Loco Pilot (Mail).
The Staff Nurse in the scale of Rs. 5000 – 8000 and Nusing Sister in scale of 5000 – 9000 and Nursing Superintend in scale of Rs.6500 – 10500 were allowed with a Grade Pay of Rs. 4600, 4800 and 5400 respectively even though there is no functional difference in their duty.
Added to that the direct recruited Motorman, Guard, TXR, SM /
TTE and a host of categories placed in the Grade Pay of Rs. 4600, 4800, 5400 on completion of 10, 20 and 30 year under ACP. No such chance do exist for Loco Pilots to reach this Grade Pay.

In summary we request to allow Grade Pay as follows: –
Second Fireman - Rs. 2400
Asst. Loco Pilot / 1st Fireman - Rs. 2800
Loco Pilot (Shunting) - Rs. 4200
Loco Pilot ( Goods ) - Rs. 4600
Loco Pilot (Passenger) - Rs. 4800
Loco Pilot (Mail) - Rs. 5400

The entry Pay in Pay band for direct recruits is fixed in First schedule Section II of Railway Service (Revised Pay) Rules 2008. This will be made applicable to those who enter on promotion to the concerned Grade Pay. It may be appreciated that the job attributes, responsibility, medical standard attached to the post of a Loco Pilot differ much with Guards. It is everybody’s knowledge that Loco pilot cannot be equated with Guard in performing duty attached with them. The Loco Pilot was at higher level and they were paid a higher Pay packet than the Guard. After implementation of 6th CPC both were treated as equal and equal Pay were allowed. Thus unequals are treated as equal. The retirement benefit of Loco Pilot and Guard become one and the same. This discrimination caused to Loco Pilot and they finds nothing more than the Guards Pay, be rectified.

ADDITIONAL ALLOWACNE :-

An additional allowance of Rs. 500 / Rs. 1000 were allowed to Loco Pilot (Passenger) and Loco Pilot (Mail) considering the onerous nature of duty. Restricting these two categories for this additional allowance is not correct. The entire categories of Loco Running staff are facing the same onerous duty. Therefore this allowance to be extended to others too and the same should be treated as Pay for the purpose of HRA, Running allowance and retirement benefit.

PROVIDE CO-DRIVER IN SUPERFAST TRAINS :-
Already many trains such as Rajadhani, Shatabdi Express were provided with Co Pilot instead of Assistant Loco Pilot, considering the arduousness of duty, high speed and related safety. The Running Allowance Committee – 2002 recommended that trains which are run at a speed above 100 kmph should be provided with Co-Pilot instead of Assistant Loco Pilot. This recommendation be implemented considering the safety aspect of high speed trains.

RUNNING ALLOWANCE AND OTHER MATTERS :-
‘The Committee on Running Allowance’ is constituted to decide the quantum of Pay element and running allowance rate, has submitted its recommendation. The recommendations of the Committee that the existing quantum of Pay element shall continue but running allowance rate shall be doubled, abolishing the system of determining the rate of kilometerage on a long established formula.
We are constrained to say that the whole concept of introduction of running allowance scheme by the Railway is not fully understood by the Committee. After all the Running staff should be paid the pay element according to the Basic Pay (Pay Band + Grade Pay) of the individual employee and TA / DA according to TA / DA Rules. This is the minimum concept and is in accordance with basic rules.
Instead of straight away giving it, this has been paid through the scheme of Running allowance. The RAC - 1980 dealt the subject well. They recommended to take the mean of the scale as a compromise formula, otherwise different and distinctive rate have to be derived to different sage in Pay scale as the individual employee is entitled for pay element according to his Basic Pay. Deriving different rate for different stage in Basic Pay is cumbersome and impractical. It may also be noted that while taking mean of the Basic Pay in fact, those who are in higher basic pay will loose and those in lower pay benefited. If the minimum of pay scale is taken to arrive at the rate, the individual employee who draws higher pay will not get the actual amount of pay element which is statutory in nature. If the maximum of Basic Pay is taken to arrive the rate, then unintended benefit will accrue to those who are in lower level in the scale. That is why the RAC 1980 recommended taking the mean pay to arrive at the rate. It was equitable decision. And staff not protested even though there was a loss for those who draw higher pay in the scale.
The present recommendation to take the minimum of pay band be seen in this perception. Those who draw higher pay in the Pay Band will get a lesser amount of pay element, that too a very drastic loss. Pay of many running staff had been fixed in the band above Rs. 22,000/- and none draws at Rs. 9300/- at present.
The observations made by the 6th CPC to pay, allowances with reference to minimum of pay in the pay band in para 7.36.97 of its report were in the nature of suggestion / illustration and this has modified through an errata and held that the administrative ministry concerned will need to take a final view thereon.
Therefore the recommendation may be rejected and mean of the Pay Band and grade pay be taken to arrive at the running allowance rate.
The Committee assumed the TA / DA rate at Rs. 210/-, but subsequently order of Railway Board on TA / DA has been released fixing R. 340/- as TA / DA for the grade pay of Rs. 4200/-. So instead of Rs. 210 an amount of Rs. 340 should be taken as TA for fixing the running allowance rate. Therefore the recommendation of the committee on Running Allowance to double the rate w.e.f 01.09.2009 has to be rejected.
20 days TA / DA in the formulae may be revised at least to 25 days considering the present Crew links / pattern of working.
According to the finding of the Committee on benchmarking, the national average kilometerage arrived was at 4700 km. Therefore the average kilometer of Loco Pilot (Passenger) may be taken at 4700 km and Assistant Loco Pilot be taken as 3700 km to arrive at the Running Allowance rate.
We further wish to point out that the fixation of Loco Pilot (Pass) whose Basic Pay as on 01.01.2006 at Rs. 5500 will be fixed at Rs. 11650 + 4200 GP i.e. at Rs. 15850 and TA of 105 was raised to Rs. 340 with an increase of 3.25 times. In the case of Assistant Loco Pilots the increase in TA rates is from Rs. 55 to Rs. 210. i.e. 3.81 times. Therefore the recommendation of the committee to double the rate of running allowance from 01.09.2006 has to be rejected.
Accordingly it is just to demand that the kilometerage rate of running staff be raised as follows:-

Application of RAC-1980 formula with 25 days TA and 4700 / 3725 km for LP / ALP, the rate from 01.01.2006 to 31.08.2006.
LOCO PILOT ASST. LOCO PILOT
Basic Pay (9300 + 34800) / 2 + 4200 * ( 5830 +20200) / 2 + 1900
Mean Pay 26250 14915
30% of Pay element 7875 4475
New TA rates 105 55
National average km 4700 3725
Mileage rate with TA Rs. 105 / 55 (7875 +(105 X 25) /4700 ) X 100 = 223.40 (4475 + (55 X 25) / 3725 ) 100 = 157.05
Mileage rate with TA Rs. 340 / 210 w.e.f 01.09.2006 (7875 +(340 X 25) / 4700 ) X 100 = 348.40 (4475 + (210 X 25) / 3725 ) 100 = 261.05
• entry pay for Asst. Loco Pilot.

In the light of the above facts, the recommendations of the Committee need to be modified duly considering our demand for increasing the pay element to 60% / 75% and taking national average kilometerage of passenger crew links as 4700 kilometers with 25 days TA.
We hope that the matter may be sympathetically viewed and conceded.
Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,





M. N. PRASAD,
New Delhi, Secretary General,
All India Loco Running Staff Association.

2 comments:

sanga said...

VERY GOOD DRAFTED. I AM WORKING AS MOTOR-MAN PUNE.

Unknown said...

what minimum rest will be given to a lpt after CL & LAP /HLAP . I am a lpt of dhn divn .kindly mail me the rule on my mail. rajesh.anubhav62@gmail.com.

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