Monday, October 28, 2013

Sri. Mallikarjun Kharage,
The Hon'ble Minister for Railways,
Government of India, Railway Board, Rail Bhavan, New Delhi.
 Respected Sir,
We the loco running staff of ----------------------- division, ----------- Railway, whole heartedly welcome your honour on assuming charge as Minister for Railways, and extend sincere cooperation in leading the Railways efficiently. We would like to submit the following few lines for your favourable consideration please.

 Sir, it is a very painful matter that the loco running staff are always being made victim of injustice although this category is very important and vital for maintaining the  productivity, punctuality and safety in railways.
Sir, as you know that we have been let down by sixth CPC on the question of Grade Pay, additional allowance and subsequently by the Railway board on the question of rate of kilometerage allowance and HOER [duty hours, rest and re-classification of job] for which there was a strong resentment amongst the loco running staff. We are very much thankful to your honour while minister for labour, referred this matter to RLC(C) New Delhi for conciliation and subsequent to National Industrial Tribunal, Mumbai for adjudication. The conciliation failed due to negative attitude of Railway administration. However, all the above four matters are still under consideration of   Hon. NIT, for adjudication. But on dt.25.03.2013, the Railway Board has constituted an empowered committee to review the pay element and formula to reckon the rate of KMA when this matter is before NIT for adjudication. Not only that but some more injustice have been done by the Railway board by modifying some of its own circulars on MACPS, weightage of 30% pay element in GP for the medically decategorised running staff absorbed in non-running categories and lately the High Power Committee constituted to review the duty hours of Running and other safety related categories have recommended 12 hours duty and the decision of RLC (Chennai) on re-classification of Loco pilot's job as 'Intensive'.
                  We therefore would like to bring the following grievances for  your kind notice for its early redressal please.

1) Modify and implement the recommendation of HPC on Duty Hours
At this juncture the recommendation of High Power Committee on Duty Hours of Running and Other Safety related categories were released and under the consideration of the Railway Board. We have serious exception on the recommendation in three areas viz. Duty at a stretch, the limit on stay away from HQ and classification.
The first issue of Duty at a stretch has been recommended as 12 hours from sign on to sign off disregarding all the laws of national and international norms on duty hours, beside rejecting the recommendation of Parliamentary Standing committee on Safety in Railways, the  decision of RLC(C), Chennai limiting the duty hours to 6 hours and upheld by the appellate authority , under the Ministry Of Labour.
The stay away from HQ of Running Staff was fixed at 72 hours against the instruction of Ministry of Railways at 36 hours.

2) Cancel the empowered committee on running allowance:-     

Sir, the matter of Running allowance is subjudice and is under consideration of NIT for adjudication. But surprisingly it is noticed that the Railway Board has constituted an empowered committee on the subject. It is nothing but a gross          dis-regard to the democratic process as well as Hon’ble NIT.  As such it is requested to cancel the empowered committee on running allowance.

3) Withdraw RBE no. 142/2012 on  Grade Pay under MACPS.:-   

The clarification of Rly Board through RBE no. 142/2012 is against the spirit of its own circular under RBE no. 101/2009 and also in contrary to the order of Hon’ble CAT/Ernakulam in  O.A. no. 561/11 of dt 11.04.2012 which justified GP Rs.4600/- even Rs.4800/- to LP(mail) and Guard(mail) under MACP scheme although it is not a promotional GP when they fulfill the condition of MACP scheme, and many of  LP(Mail) and Guard(Mail) enjoying with this benefit. Now with the above mentioned RBE142/2012's clarification, the employees concerned will be deprived with the benefit of upgraded GP and thus injustice is done. Therefore the said RBE 142/2012 needs to be withdrawn.

4) Fixation of GP for medically decategorised Running Staff posted in stationary post.:-

Sir, the recent circular of Railway Board. no. E(NG)I-2008/RE-3/4, dated 30.04.2013, RBE no. 41/2013, is a serious blow to the status, grade and pay of Running staff. Through this circular, a serious injustice is done against the running staff by lowering the status and grade of running staff while being posted in stationary job after being medically decategorised by not upgrading the GP.  Railway board perhaps either knowingly or unknowingly ignored the well established status of Running staff in pay and grade in non-running cadre while issuing the above referred circular, which are being availed by the Running staff since last six decades and against the protection envisaged in The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995.

 The apex grade in class 'C' in non-running cadre was always considered for loco pilot mail express since 1947,i.e. 1st RSPAC. But kept one stage below for  better administrative control and to motivate the Running staff to work more. With all fairness when a Running staff is posted in non-running cadre, he becomes entitled for the same status of pay and grade.
The erstwhile provision of IREM was as follows:
1307. Element of Running Allowance to be reckoned while finding alternative post to disabled medically decategorised running staff :-
 In order to determine the same scale of pay for the purpose of absorbing a disabled/ medically decategorised running staff in the alternative employment, an amount equal to such percentage of pay in lieu of running allowance as may be in force may be added to the minimum and maximum of the scale of Pay of the running staff. If the scale of Pay so arrived at is not identical with the scale of Pay already existing, the same may be replaced by the equivalent existing scale of pay.
As per IREM 1301 A Railway servant becomes physically incapable of performing the duties of the post should not be reduced in rank.
Further Railway Board under RBE 47/2012 allotted equivalent 6th CPC pay band / grade pay after reckoning running allowance for revised pay limit for Passes/ PTOs for running staff with higher grade pay.

 Sir, thus it is very clear on this subject that a medically decategorised Running staff should be protected with status, pay and grade while placing in alternative job with equivalent alternate higher pay, grade than the present grade. Also Hon’ble CAT, Hyderabad has given an order in the case of O.A. no. 259/of 2008 of dt. 02.02.2009, to put the applicant who worked as a Running staff in the grade of Rs.5000-8000/- in the grade of Rs.6500-10500/- in the non-running staff cadre i.e. two stages above.

 The present order, gives the weightage of pay element to protect the pay only but not the grade unless the weighatage of pay element is given to Grade Pay.

From the above facts, it is submitted that a gross injustice is done through  RBE  41/2013, which needs to be withdrawn or revised to protect the grade too by allotting higher GP in alternative job for medically decategorised Running staff.

5) Reclassification of loco pilots as ' Intensive ':- 

Sir, after having job evaluation done by LEO, RLC(C)/Chennai has given its verdict that the job of loco pilots to be reclassified as 'Intensive' from continuous  and duty hours to be limited to 6 hours. Further the appeal no. Z-20026/13/2012-CLS-1 taken up for hearing  on dt 31.1.2013 preferred by Railway administration against the decision of RLC Chennai has been rejected by the appellate authority i.e. Joint Secretary, Ministry of labour and employment.  Now with all fairness, the decision of RLC(C) Chennai should be implemented without any delay. Now paying respect to the order of an appropriate Govt., the loco pilots in Indian railways to be reclassified as 'Intensive' without any delay.

6) Minutes of Rly. Board's meeting on SPAD and JPO on different matters.:- 

In a meeting of Railway board, zonal officials and LI's of different divisions were present and resolved some remedial measures on prevention of Signal Passing At Danger SPAD. The minutes of meeting has been circulated vide letter no. 2004/M(L)/466/7101dt 14.06.2012 and zones are advised to implement it. But painfully it is observed that zones are not interested to implement it. Rather in contrary, it is seen that many of unsafe working are being imposed through various JPOs. Therefore it is requested to implement the minutes of SPAD on priority with respect to reduction of duty hours, increased rest, timely relief to goods crew, ensure two hours calling time in addition to rest, resuming from leave at 08:00 hrs and issue suitable instructions to the zones not to issue the JPO on different matter in contrary to safe working rule.

7) Grant periodical rest as per The Railways Act Sec.133.:- 

      According to The Railways Act, Sec.133, running staff must get 4 rests of 30 hours or 5 rests of 22 hours in a month with full night rest. This rest must be in continuation and after completion of head quarter rest. On this matter zones and division, are mis-interpreting the rules and no proper periodical rest is given to running staff and even passenger/ mail express link is also not prepared with proper periodical rest. Hence running staff are facing serious social and health problems and the interest of safety is jeopardized. Hon’ble Bangalore CAT on O.A. 33 of 2008, has given an order with clarification and justified the granting  of  periodical  rest  must  be  in  continuation  after  completion  of headquarter rest. Railway administration preferred an appeal in the Hon’ble High court of Karnataka circuit bench at Dharwar on w.p. no. 66707/2010, Hon’ble High court dismissed the railway appeal and upheld the Bangalore CAT decision with reference to Sec. 133 of The Railways Act. Hence periodical rest to be granted after completion of Head quarters rest and crew links shall be prepared suitably.
8) Promotional increment during promotion from Sr.ALP and Sr LP(S) to higher posts

Railway board had issued RBE 95/2013 dated 12-09-13 for allowing promotional increment at the time of promotion in same grade pay. But while listing the situations of promotions, two promotions pertaining to running cadre are omitted.
i).Sr. Assistant Loco Pilot to Loco Pilot (Shunting) Grade II
ii).Loco Pilot (Shunting) Grade I to Loco Pilot (Goods)
So we demand to revise the order under reference to include the above two situations among other.
So it is requested your good self to intervene in these matters and resolve all the above grievances for which we remain thankful to you Sir.   

Sl No.     NAME                        DESIGNATION          DEPOT                     SIGNATURE


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