Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Hon’ble Minister for Railways,
Government of India, Rail Bhawan, New Delhi.
Through General Manager, South Western Railway, Hubli

Respected sir,
          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 security in railways.
          Sir, our Secretary General had submitted this memorandum on 23.08.2013 to your honour and subsequently all the Division and Zonal units of AILRSA had submitted it through respective DRM and GM but sorry to say that at one side none of the grievances is resolved so far but another side new problem is created by an instruction on the subject of using the CUG mobile phone. Hundreds of charge-sheets have been issued all over country on this matter without a justified reason, misusing the instruction of Railway Board on this matter. However, once more we would like to draw your kind attention on the grievances for its redressal please and hope that co-ordeal Labour relation is maintained.
          Sir, as you know that we have been made victim of injustice by sixth CPC on the question of GP, additional allowance and subsequently by the Railway Board on the question   of   rate   of   kilometer-age   allowance   and   HOER   ( Duty hours, rest and reclassification of Job) for which there was a strong resentment amongst the Loco Running Staff. We are very much thankful to you that your honour while Minister for Labour, referred this matter to RLC (C) New Delhi for conciliation and subsequent to NIT for adjudication when conciliation failed due to negative attitude of Railway Administration. The conciliation continued for almost all for a year, Railway Board in all the meeting had being saying that matter was under consideration by the different committees but the decision of the committee never came out, and at last RLC (C) has to end the conciliation as failure, however, your honour, considering the matter as national importance, referred the matter to NIT for adjudication. Here also Railway Board first tried to get the NIT be cancelled but failed. Then they started non-co-operation with NIT but due to the stiff attitude of Hon’ble NIT, they started to co-operate with the proceeding. Sir, by the Hon’ble Chairman of NIT Sri Saraf has retired and so further about six months taken to appoint a new Chairman and for issuing the notification. However, all these four matters are still under consideration of Hon’ble NIT, for adjudication but in the recent past, it is observed that 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. This step of Railway Board is in contrary to the democratice process. Not only that but some more injustice have been done by the Railway Board by modifying some of its own circulars on MACPS, weight age of 30% pay in GP while putting the medically decategorised running staff in non-running categories and also for not implementing their own decisions on SPAD and the decision of CLC (Chennai) on re-classification of Loco Pilot’s job as ‘Intensive’.
          We therefore would like to bring to your kind notice, the following grievances for its early redressal please.
1.   RBE no. 142/2012 on the question of Grade Pay under MACPS: -
The clarification of Railway 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 date: 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 may of LP (Mail) and Guard (Mail) enjoying with this benefit. Now with the above mentioned RBE 142/2012’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.  
2.   On the question of upgrading the GP for Medically Decategorised Running Staff while being 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 serous conspiracy is done against the running staff by lowering the status of pay and grade of running staff while being posted in stationary job after being medically decategorised by not upgrading the GP. Sir, the 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, in reference to fixing the GP of Running Staff in non-running job, the following events have to be taken into the consideration: -
I)                 The apex grade in class ‘C’ in non-running cadre was always considered for Loco Pilot / Mail express since 1947, i.e. RSPAC. But kept depressed by one stage for administrative reason e.e. to have running staff under administrative control and depressed value known as pay element linked with the rate of KM allowance 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.
II)               Sir, the rule is very clear on this subject that medically decategorised running staff should be protected with status, pay and grade while placing in alternative job and for which only their alternative grade used to be considered, in non-running cadre adding the pay element at the minimum and maximum of the grade, normally a medically decategorised running staff is given alternative job with equivalent alternate higher pay, grade than the present grade. Hon’ble CAT, Hyderabad has given an order in the case of O.A no. 259/2008 of date: 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.

III)             Giving the weightage of pay element of fix up the pay only will protect the pay but not the grade unless the weighatage of pay element is given to grade pay i.e. at least the next higher GP is given, in present system when various previous pay grades merged in one pay band.
IV)              Sir, in view of the above fact, it is quite justified to give at least next higher GP while placing a medically decategorised running staff in alternative non-running staff cadre. This will protect the status, pay and grade of running staff.
V)                With reference to the above fact, here we submit that a gross injustice is done through RBE no. 41/2013, which needs to be withdrawn or revised to protect the grade too by allotting higher FP in alternative job for medically decategorised running staff.
3.   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 date: 31.01.2013 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 and delay. Now paying respect to the order of an appropriate Government the Loco Pilots in Indian Railways to be reclassified as ‘Intensive’ without any delay. 
4.    Minutes of Railway Board’s Meeting on SPAD:
The minutes of meeting has been circulated vide letter no. 2004/M (L) /466/7101 date: 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 harassed in various way of work. Therefore, it is request to implement the minutes of SPAD and an advice is given to the Zones not to issue to JPO on different matter in contrary to safe working rule.
5.   Non granting of periodical rest as per Indian Railway Act no. 133 : -
According to Indian Railway Act, no. 133, ruuning staff must get 4 rests of 30 hours or 5 rests of 22hours 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 misinterpreting the rules and no proper periodical rest is given to running staff and even passenger / mail express link is also not prepared with 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 Dharward. Decision of Dharward on w.p. no. 66707/2012, High Court dismissed the Railway appeal and un held the Bangalore CAT decision with reference to act no. 133 of Indian railway act.
     So, it is request to intervene in these matters and resolve all the above grievances, by allowing PR in continuous to trip rest. 
6.   The exemption of Income Tax ceiling limit for running staff of Indian Railways was enhanced from 6000 to 10000 per month. For Income Tax purposes, 70% of the running allowance shall be exempted under se 10(14) of the Income Tax Act. 1951 the ceiling limit per month for the same was enhanced from 6000 to 10000. Consequent upon the implementation of VIth CPC the running allowance was revised and enhanced by 25% when DA crossed 50% with effect from 01.01.2011. In this context it will be appropriate and justified to increase the above ceiling appropriate steps with Ministry of Finance in this regard.
7.   Presently the post of CLI/LI is made general selection instead of selection as it was earlier. Previously, the above post was being filled up with seniority cum suitability and the desirous. LP (Pass+Mail) were getting opportunity to come as LI / CLI and their experienced of driving Pass / Mail/ Exp was advantageous / helpful for monitoring or counseling Pass / Mail/Exp train for efficient driving of Pass / Mail / Exp and also to ensure safety and punctuality but now due to this change of mode of selection such experience person are being deprived which is in no way conducive for safe operation. Sir, earlier, we have already lodge our protest against the change in mode of selection and requested to withdraw the circular. We again requests your honour to withdraw this order.
     In the new3 orders of rationalizastion of supervision of Loco Running Staff vide Lt. No. 2001 / M (L) / 467 / 2 date: 21.012.2012 the posts of CCC / CPRC / CTLC shall be filled up from LI cadr. When the psot of CLI is made from LP (Mail) the object and purpose of the above order in improving control of Loco Running Staff and safety in train operation can be fulfilled.
8.   This Association constantly demanding for enhancing the education qualification level of ALP to Diploma in Engineering from the present education qualification of 10th and ITI which is not commensurate with the technological advancement taking place in Railways, now more and more workload and responsibilities are attached to the post. High Level Committee had also recommended to enhance the recruitment qualification of ALP as Diploma in Engineering in its report. As such, it is requested that Railway Administration should recruit Diploma in engineering holder only for ALP’s posts.
9.   In the unmanned level crossing accidents caused due to the negligent and careless act of road users but he LP are subjected to special Medical Examination including taking blood and urine samples after relieving the Engine Crew enroute in the name of Accident Manual provision. Since the engine crew is in no way connected, it is only the road user’s responsibility as per motor vehicle act. Subjecting the LP & ALP for Special Medical test after relieving them enroute is unwarranted and unreasonable. It is requested to issue suitable instructions duly modifying the provisions of Accident Mannual if any and may be expeditiously processed.
10.        Modification of Safety Related VRS Scheme: -
In 2004, vide RBE 4/2004 date: 02.01.2004 Railway Board introduced a safety related VRS scheme for Loco Pilots and Gangmen offering job to their wards between the age of 55 to 57 stating they are safety hazard by this age and prone to accidents due to reduction in their reflexes. The ridiculous condition is that Loco Pilots’ wards will get only ALP job and Gangmens’ wards will get only trackman job irrespective of their educational qualification.
In 2012 vide 2004/M(L)/466/7101 dated: 14.06.2012 Railway Board through its minutes on SPAD in Para E2 states that “since in most of the SPAD cases drivers above 55 years are involved the retirement age of LP’s should be reduced to 55 years or they should be made CC/PRC/ LI if they want to continue beyond 55 years”.
     This association demands to club both these proposals and evolve a new proposal as follows.
1.   The Loco Pilots may be retired at the age of 55 offering job to their wards in any group C jobs according their qualification removing the cap on only ALP job.
2.   The Loco Pilot who do not want job to their wards should be allowed to retire at the age of 55 fixing their pay with future five increments for retirement benefits and pension calculations.
3.   The Loco Pilots who do not want the above two options and wish to continue in service should be given the option of CC/PRC/LI or super LP as said in E2 of Railway Board letter on prevention of SPAD.
4.   Lastly the 33 years service condition related VRS scheme to be reduced to 20 years service as done in the case of LARSGESS scheme to ensure equality before law.

                                           Thanking you,

Hubli                                                                  Your’s sincerely
                                                                                       (C. Sunish )
Railway Board
Rail Bhawan / New Delhi 


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