Monday, August 25, 2014

Brief Submission before 7th CPC at Bangalore on 24.08.2014


          The Hon’ble  Chairman,
          7th Central Pay Commission,
          At Bangalore.

Respected Sir,

          This Union represents the Loco Running Staff of Indian Railways.  At the outset we welcome the decision of the 7th CPC to undertake regional visits and express sincere thanks to the Commission in allowing our regional delegation to meet in person.  We had already placed our memorandum before the Commission.  Adding to that, we place this submission for the kind consideration of the committee humbly seeking to arrive at an apt decision.

          Unlike other staff, the very nature of duty attached to the posts demands Loco Running staff to be away from their family and head quarters in most of the days in the life span. It is possible to have only 12/16 hours stay with their family in between two or three days duty in train working that puts undue strain on them, they could not attend any social function, nor be able to maintain a healthy social relation that others could maintain. They could not satisfactorily fulfill the responsibilities of rearing of children, looking after aged parents, house hold needs etc which they are forced to entrust to their wives.  Loco Running staffs are enduring such a pathetic condition from the induction to the retirement.

          In addition to that the arduousness involved in performing the duty causes to create more stress in their life.  They have to acquire technical know-how of 23 types of Electric and Diesel Locomotives as they are frequently required to rectify troubles en route by themselves.  Unscheduled duty hours, starting and breaking of duty at odd hours, frequent night duties that too continuously for 3 to 4 days have cascading effect on their health.  Medical decategorization in this category is alarmingly high.  Due to ill health and unable to bear the stress in advanced age, number of voluntary retirement in this category is also very high compared to other staff.  A study in this matter will reveal the true position.

          For a slight error in judgment or a human lapse leading to a ‘Signal Passing at Danger’ and even if the train is brought to a stop, within the prescribed adequate distance to ensure safety, without causing any accidents the minimum punishment prescribed is removal from service.  Inflicting such high punishments on the Loco Running Staff is frequent compared to any other staff.  This has created an uncertainty in the minds of the Loco Running staff regarding their job security and career advancement thus they are deprived of the main advantage enjoyed by all other central government employees. All these adverse position attached to the post make their life most miserable.  If an option is extended to them to switch over to any other post even with lesser pay packet, a flood of applications will be there with the management.  This is the position prevails now.

          Without properly assessing this position various Pay Commissions had dealt with the emoluments of Loco Running staff in an unjust manner without proper job evaluation.  It is pertinent to note that from IV CPC to VI CPC only replacing scales were allowed to Loco Running staff. Though vast changes had taken place with regard their responsibility, skill required, technical knowledge, efforts required in performing the duty, the educational qualification attached to the post of Loco Pilot / Assistant Loco Pilot – a proportional change in the emoluments never took place.

          In the case of Assistant Loco Pilot the scales under various CPC were only replacement scales.

          3rd CPC                  4th CPC                  5th CPC                  6th CPC                
Rs. 290 – 350            950 – 1500          3050 – 4500         GP – 1900

          In the case Loco Pilot – Passenger and Loco Pilot – Mail the scales under various CPC is as follows.

          Post             3rd CPC            4th CPC         5th CPC               6th CPC
 Loco Pilot (Pass)    550 – 700  1600 – 2660           5500 – 9000       Grade Pay 4200
 Loco pilot (Mail)     550 – 750  1640 – 2900    5500 – 9000*     Grade Pay 4200
                                                      *enhanced by the FTC to Rs. 6000 – 9800

 Whereas only replacing scales were allowed to the Loco Running Staff a large number of categories in Indian Railway – the Train Examiner, Station Master, Guard, Technicians etc. were allowed with higher scales than what was prevailed before each Commission.  Apex scales were allowed to all categories except Loco Running staff.
In the 3rd CPC the recruitment qualification of Assistant Loco Pilot (ALP) was Matriculation with a scale of Rs. 290 – 350 that has been changed in 1983 to Diploma in Engineering, there after it has been fixed as ITI with preference to Diploma holders in Engineering.  In fact about 80% of candidate now recruited are either Diploma or Graduate Engineers.  But still the emoluments stand at the level of matriculation, as a result of allowing with only replacement scale.  At present Grade Pay of Rs. 4200/- for the post of Assistant Loco Pilot is warranted since grade pay Rs.4200 is allotted to all diploma holders in central govt posts.  The same is the case with the Loco Pilots, it needs to be seriously considered by the Commission through job evaluation.

          All the posts i.e., Loco Pilot (Goods), Loco Pilot (Passenger) and Loco Pilot (Mail) are allowed with only one Grade Pay of Rs. 4200/- even though each post is functionally different and is treated as promotion involving selection with the benefit of FR22C.  According to 6th CPC, on promotion from one post to other the Grade Pay has to be changed, which was not followed.

It may be noted that the responsibility, skill required, the arduousness in performing the duty considerably vary in each of these posts, allowing same emoluments for all these posts is unjust, need to be looked into.

It may further be noted that for the duties and responsibility attached to the post of Guard of the train were commensurate with a Grade Pay of Rs. 4200/-.  Such being the case, the Loco Pilots should have been allowed with a higher Grade Pay and higher Pay Scale, considering more responsibility, skill, technical knowledge and the arduousness involved in performing their duty, than the Guards. Treating unequals as equal in pay packet is too harsh and unjustified. The historical relativity shall be maintained among the categories.

We earnestly request the Hon’ble Commission to have a firsthand knowledge on this intriguing position in which the Loco Pilot perform their duty by traveling in a Locomotive cab.

It may be further noted that the Loco Inspectors were allowed with a higher Grade Pay of 4600, as if it is a promotional post of Loco Pilot (Mail) or treating them as supervisors of Loco Pilot.  This is not the true position.  Loco Inspectors are drafted even from Loco Pilot (Goods), two stage below Loco Pilot (Mail) and the duties and responsibilities of them were only inspectorial rather than supervisory,  as suggested and recommended by the 6th CPC in the case of Commercial Inspector.  Therefore keeping the Grade Pay of Loco Pilot below the Loco Inspector on the norms that supervisor must be above supervised is not applicable in this case.

This was the position in post 3rd CPC period.  The Loco Inspectors were in Rs. 425 – 700 and 550 – 700 where as Loco Pilot (Mail) were in 550 – 750 and 700 – 900 for 30% of the post in Loco Pilot (Mail) on implementation of the cadre restructuring in 1985. 

It may seem as an exaggeration if we say that the Loco Running staff has to be in duty for all the 365 days in a year, but it is the reality throughout Indian Railways.  The Crew Link is drawn to extract 104 hours - the statutory limit of duty hours and providing 22 hours of periodical rest in five times a month, there is no concept of a Calendar day off, but rest in terms of hours only.

Over Indian Railway system, Loco Running Staff are working in different terrain with unique system of working with unfavourable climatic conditions. In South Western Railway loco Running Staff working in ghat section Castle Rock – Kulem (Hubli Division) in steepest gradient of 1 in 37 and Sakhleshpur – Subramanya Road (Mysore Division) in steeper gradient of 1 in 50 have to manoeuvre the train with five locomotives in synchronization with high degree of skill and enginemanship. They have to put to work in the severest rainfall region around 6000mm average for four to five months span in a year. This position of nature of work shall be adequately taken care of  by this Commission while allotting pay scales.
We hope that the Honorable Commission will appreciate the points raised in our memorandum as well as the present gist and render justice.

        Thanking you Sir,
                                                     Yours Sincerely,

Bengaluru,                                                 (C. Sunish)                                               
24.08.2014.                                           General Secretary                                


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