Tuesday, July 19, 2016

To

Sri. SURESH PRABHAKAR PRABHU,

Hon. MINISTER FOR RAILWAYS, Rail Bhavan,  New Delhi. 

Copy to: The Chairman, Railway Board, Rail Bhavan, New Delhi. 

Respected sir,

Sub: Representation against Empowered Committee for Running Allowance in 7th CPC Pay structure. Ref : No. ERB – I/2016/23/21, dated 05.05.2016.

We invite your kind attention to the Railway Board order no. ERB-I/2016/23/21 dated 05.05.16, constituting an Empowered committee for Running Allowance with 3 terms of references pertaining to Running Allowance as follows.

a. To determine the fitment factor for fixation of pay of Running staff in Seventh CPC Pay Matrix. 

b. To determine the quantum of pay element in Running Allowance and the quantum of pay element for pensionary benefits for the running staff.

c. To review the existing formula for calculation of rates of Running allowance and evolve a new formula.

This Association has serious exception on the decision to constitute a committee in this regard, as the issue under terms of reference already decided by the Ministry of Railways in 1980 in consultation with the staff side and the said decision is holding the field for the past 35 years, even after three Central Pay Commissions.

The staff apprehend that the intention behind the move of the Railway Board in constituting this empowered committee is to curtail the existing benefits in the Running allowance. It is also our experience with the Railway Board that whenever a committee is constituted on Running Allowance, the result is curtailment of existing benefits. 

In 1980, the Running Allowance Committee 1980, after elaborate study, fixed the pay element at 30/55 % and abolished the system of minimum guaranteed kilometer. But in 2002, the Running Allowance Committee recommended to reduce the pay element from 30/55% to 10 and 20% which was later on kept under abeyance by the Railway Board.

In 2008, the Running Allowance Committee 2008 fixed the Running allowance at double the existing rate in total disregard to the existing formula to calculate the rate and in total disregard to the fact that the TA/DA rate has been enhanced by 3.5 times and the existing basic pay has been enhanced around 3 times by the VI CPC. This was our bitter experience when Railway Board constituted committees in relation to Running Allowance. We are constrained to believe that an anti-running staff lobby is there in the Railway Board.

It may also be noted that the members of the committee are mere Executive Directors of Railway Board, who are in the lower strata of the Management with no independent power to decide on such matters which have far reaching repercussion on the monthly emoluments of the entire Running staff of the Indian Railways. 

This Association specifically wishes to point out before your good self that the formula to calculate the rate of Running Allowance was recommended by Running Allowance Committee 1980 and has been accepted by Ministry of Railways in consultation with the staff side. This formula had been in force from 1980 and followed in various Central Pay Commissions thereafter. It is not at all warranted to review the formula, as the factors that constitute the formula have not been changed. The 30% of basic pay, the quantum of pay element in the Running Allowance, should stand unaltered even after the VII CPC as Loco Running Staff are granted with normal replacement scales only. The tours in the course of duty for running staff in a month also stand unaltered at 20 days in the present links. So the TA factor ie 20 days TA in the RAC 1980 formula needs no change.

The fitment factor for the fixation of pay solely depends upon the Basic Pay, DA drawn by the employee and the fixation benefit recommended by the Pay Commission or decided by the Government of India. The purpose of fitment factor is to easily fix the pay in the new CPC, ensuring equitable benefits to all the employees. For running staff there is a method which was followed after IVth , Vth and VIth CPC. Therefore our conviction that constituting a committee with terms of reference on issues which were decided earlier and followed, when there is no new factors emerged on account of VII CPC, is intended solely to find a way to curtail the existing benefit enjoyed by the Running Staff of Indian Railways. 

Your good self will be in appreciation that the Running allowance is a scheme to motivate the Running staff to work more thereby increase the productivity of the Railways and is devised by including a portion of their Basic Pay in Running Allowance as an element of Pay . Therefore modifying such a scheme in order to curtail the benefits will have serious effect on the motivation factor in the scheme.

The railway administration had specifically referred the examination of the Running Allowance to the 7th CPC for its consideration vide letter No.E(P&A)ll- 2014/MISC/7th CPC dated 20-10-2014 and gave detailed submission on the pay element, formula for fixing the rate of the Running Allowance and the rate of other allowances.

The Commission has assessed the existing rate of the pay element which is 30% of the basic pay, the formula for fixing the rate of Running Allowance according to RAC 1980 recommendations and the rate of other allowances and recorded them in Para No. 8.11.1 to 8.11.20 of their report. The 7th CPC has recommended the pay scales of the Running Staff on the consideration of the present percentage of pay element and Running Allowance formula. 

However the Railway Administration reverted their stand vide letter dated 11.05.2015 and hence only the 7th CPC refrained from any express recommendation on the Running Allowance and related issue.

After getting the pay scales fixed based on the consideration of the the existing rate of pay element, formula etc any attempt to review those matters by the Railway Board is unjust and unethical. 

It may also be specifically noted that in the said empowered committee only the representatives of the management are being nominated as members. But in the case of earlier Running Allowance Committee 2008, the General Secretaries of both recognized federations were members to represent the staff side. 

Exclusively nominating men of management in a committee to deal with the emoluments of staff is unjust and intended to safe guard the interest of management. The interest of the management as we said is to curtail the benefits. It may also be borne in mind that it is a universally accepted norms in industrial jurisprudence that leaving the decision making power in issues like pay and allowances exclusively to management is bad in law and against all canons of justice. That is why whenever pay and allowances are reviewed; it is entrusted with an independent authority like Pay Commission or Wage Board. 

We plead before your good office, to abolish the Empowered committee and advise the Railway Board to retain the percentage of pay element at 30% for in service and 55% for pensionary benefits as it stood for the last 35 years and calculate the rate of Running allowance by applying the RAC 1980 formula strictly and fitment factor for fixation of pay in the new Pay Matrix as done during implementation of IVth, Vth and VIth CPC.

Thanking you

                                                                                                                                Yours Sincerely

Place: 

21.07.2016. 







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