Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Loco Running staff of Indian railways had represented some of their serious but genuine demands which are not yet conceded by Railway Board to Honorable Prime Minister last month through individual representations

The demands are

1. Revise Running Allowance Rates As Per RAC 1980 Formula and Pay Arrears From 01/01/2016.

2. Reduces Duty Hours to 10 in 2020 Pending Reduction to 8 Hours with 90 Hours Fortnightly Limit.

3. Allow L6 Level of Pay to Assistant Loco Pilot and distinct Higher Levels of Pay to Loco Pilot.

4. Allow weekly/Periodical rest independent of trip/daily rest of 16 hours.

5. Restrict continuous night duties to two.

6. Revision of Pension of pre-2016 retired running staff 

7. Stop Privatisation of Indian Railways.

8. Vacate Victimisation of Loco Pilot of Kharagpur Division



DETAILED NOTES ON DEMANDS OF LOCO RUNNING STAFF 


1. Review the Kilometrage allowance rates ordered by Railway Board by its letter no. RBE85/2019 dated 20.05.2019. 

This association have serious exemption to the recent Railway Board order, RBE85/2019 dated 20.05.2019, revising the rate of kilometrage allowance to the Running staff of Indian Railways. 

The time tested formula for fixing the rate of running allowance for LP/Pass, which is the base rate formulated by RAC80 is as under. 

Rate of running allowance For LP/Pass for 100 kms  = 30% of mean pay of LP/Pass + 20 daysTA X100 /National average kilometers of LP/Pass 


After the 7th CPC, the parameters are :- 

30% of mean pay of LP/Pass = (35400 + 112400)/2 x 30/100  = Rs. 22170 


20 days TA = 20 x 800 = 16000 

National average of LP/Pass = 5100 kms 

The rate of running allowance for 100 kms for LP/Pass on the basis of above parameters works out to Rs. 723/- but the rate fixed by Railway Board vide order dt. 20/05/2019 is Rs.525/-. It seems that this rate is arrived as follows :- 

30% of 35400 + 20 days TA (16000)/5100 x 100 = Rs. 522/- (rounded to Rs.525/-) 

It appears that the rate is derived by taking the 30% of minimum basic pay+20 days TA, divided by national average kilometer of LP/Pass. It is our contention that a rate basing on the minimum of scale is against the existing provisions contained in the IREM and also the decision of the President of India in this matter. 

The term Running allowance defined in IREM 901(V) which reads as follows. “Running allowance” means an allowance ordinarily granted to Running Staff in terms of and at the rates specified in these rules, and/or modified by the Central Government in the Ministry of Railway(Railway Board), for the performance of duties directly connected with charge of moving trains and includes a “Kilometerage allowance” and “Allowance in lieu of kilometerage” but excludes special compensatory allowance. 

And further in IREM 903 the pay element is fixed, which reads as follows:- 

IREM, 903:- Pay element in running allowance:- 30% of the basic pay of the Running Staff will be treated to be in the nature of pay representing the pay element in Running Allowance. This pay element would fall under clause (iii) of Rule 1303-FR-9.21 (a) ie. “emoluments which are specifically classed as pay by the President” 

In the very order (RBE 85/2019) itself it says that “The President is now pleased to decide that the pay element in Running allowance for Running Staff would be 30 % of the basic pay under the Railway services(Revised pay) Rules 2016 for Computation of the specified benefits excluding retirement benefit ………….” . 

A plain reading of these two provisions clearly gives a definite meaning that 30% pay element (pay embedded in running allowance) is not of the minimum of the basic pay in scale, but the 30% of the actual basic pay drawn by the Running Staff. Therefore, deriving a rate for kilometrage allowance confine to minimum of the basic pay of the scale for all the Running Staff, who are drawing different basic pay in the scales, is totally wrong and against provisions contained in IREM. 

The Running allowance committee 1980, taking these provisions into consideration, recommended to take the 30 % of the mean pay of scale to arrive at the KMA rate. To overcome the cumbersome procedure and for administrative convenience to fix different KMA rate for different basic pay in the scale, the RAC made this recommendation to take the mean pay for arriving at a common rate for all the running staff irrespective of the basic pay they draw. Though it has merit and demerit, the Railway Board as well as the staff accepted it. 

It may also be noted that when Running Staff are detailed to work for non-running duty at head quarters, 30% of pay of his actual basic pay is allowed as in lieu of kilometrage. 

Both the Federations, though they were also members of the RAC 2008, after realizing the mistake, demanded to review the decision of the RAC 2008. Though a series of meeting were held between Railway management and Federations, the issue has not been settled yet. By the time the VII CPC submitted its report and the Government of India acceptedthe same. The 7th CPC recommended that, the rate of KMA and other allowances should be decided in bilateral discussion between Railway Management and both Federations. 

Accordingly a discussions were held on 4th and 5th Jan 2018 between the Railway Board and both Federations and the summary record notes of the discussion was drawn and released as file no : E(P and A) 11/2013/RS 14. Apparently taking note of the opinion of the Railway Board that taking mean pay is not possible, both the Federations suggested that a mean pay in the 7th CPC scale corresponding to the mean pay that was took in 5th CPC regime to calculate the KMA rate and demanded to fix at Rs 638. That was also seems to be rejected arbitrarily. It seems that the discussion has been held for name sake. This association submitted its suggestion in detail vide its letter dated 24.01.18. The NFIR also reiterated their stand vide their letter dated 07.02.18.None of the suggestion of this Union as well as, of the Federations were seriously considered. Thus took an arbitrary decision to take the 30% minimum of the scale. 

In spite of all these objections of AILRSA and both Federations the Railway board took the minimum of scale to fix the KMA rate. This is not fair and against the provisions of IREM.It may please be noted that prior to 7th CPC regime the mean pay of the scales were taken to arrive at the rate of NDA, even in 6th CPC regime too. As per the recommendations of the 7th CPCnow the NDA rate are based on the actual basic pay of the workers and different rate was announced. 

It may also be kept in mind that none of the Running Staff is drawing minimum of L6 scale for ever. The running staff who are drawing higher stage in pay scale are worst affected, many will not get even 15% of their basic pay through the KMA rate. Taking a stand that 30% of pay element is given through running allowance, the Running staff are denied with upward revision of their scale of pay, as done to other staff, through various CPC and cadre restructuring orders. 

This association urges to consider the various submission made out in this letter and reconsider its decision to confine the 30% pay element to minimum of scale and revise the order fixing the KMA rate considering the provisions in IREM. 

2 Reduces Duty Hours to 10 in 2020 Pending Reduction to 8 Hours with 90 Hours Fortnightly Limit. 

Loco running duty was described by HPC has unique and un comparable any other category of staff. HPC recommended to reduce duty hours from sign ON to sign OFF to 10 hours in the year 2020 and we demand to implement each, pending reclassification of loco running staff as intensive category as ordered by Laboure ministry with 8 hours maximum duty at a stretch and 90 hours limit in a fortnight in a phased manner within two years. 

3 Allow L6 Level of Pay to Assistant Loco Pilot and distinct Higher Levels of Pay to Loco Pilot. 

Rising in the ladder on a cadre means, more responsibility and more remuneration. This is the basic principal. In the case of Loco Running staff, every climb in ladder impose more responsibility, demand more skill etc. when they move upward from Loco Pilot (Shg Gr. I) to Loco Pilot (Goods), to Loco Pilot (Pass) and then to Loco Pilot (Mail). But all these posts lie in the level 6 of the pay matrix denying progression from one level to another higher level in the pay matrix, as is the general principle of pay commission. Thus, the feeder and promotional posts are lying in same pay scale. Railway establishment rules in force LP (Goods) and LP (Pass) posts are selection posts and the candidates has to obtain competency certificate given after specified training programs to become eligible to appear for the selection tests. The duty of Loco Pilot (Shg) confined to station yard, whereas the Loco Pilot (Mail) has to work all express, Super fast trains etc. but both are on same pay scale of L6 in Pay Matrix. Added to that, the same pay given to Guards are allowed to Loco Pilot (Mail) and Loco Pilot (Pass). It may please be noted that higher medical standard , higher skill and more stress are expected from Loco Pilot (Pass) and (Mail) than from Guard, thus allowing with same scale and emoluments for both is totally unjustified. 

The Assistant Loco Pilots are still in L2 in Pay Matrix with a starting pay of Rs. 19900/- just above the lowest employee in Railways whose starting pay is Rs. 18000/-. The educational qualification, the induction training, the knowledge, skill required to perform the duty, the highest medical standard to hold the post not been reflected in their pay. While the 7th CPC recommended the post of ASM in grade pay of 2800 upgraded to grade pay of 4200 on the ground that qualification are required to hold the post of ASM and SM is equal. In the case of ALP category pay scales, the same reasoning was not taken valid and not upgraded the grade pay of 1900 to 2400. Normally the new recruiters reach the post of Loco Pilot (Shg) in L6 of Pay Matrix within a span of 7 to 9 years. It is ironical to note that thereafter, even if he has climbed the Ladder and become LP (Mail), he is doomed to sit, not and die on the same scale for around 25 years. Whereas all other categories ie, Travelling train Examiners, Permanent way Inspectors, Signal Inspectors, Station Masters and clerks etc can move to L7, L8 and L9 in Pay Matrix either by promotion or by MACP. The move from LP (Shg) to LP (Goods) and to LP (Pass) then to LP (Mail) are treated as promotion. As all these posts lie in one and the same in Pay Matrix, the benefit of promotion is confined to one increment. In this situation a Running Staff from Loco Pilot (Shg) to LP (Mail) will get only two increments in his entire service period of 25 to 30 years, on account of promotion. As the posts are treated as promotional posts the provisions of MACP are not been applied in the case of Loco Running Staff, even though various Central Administrative Tribunals declared that it is unjust, and financial up gradation on account of MACP should be on higher grades in the hierarchy of pay scales. Still no orders are issued by the Railway Board to implement the Central Administrative Tribunal order. This is the pathetic situation knowingly or unknowingly created by the Ministry of Railways. 

So this Association reiterates the demand to allot L6 scale to Asst Loco Pilots and distinct higher pay levels to Loco Pilots to mitigate the injustice of lesser wage hither to paid to loco running staff when compared to the work extracted from them. 

4. Allow weekly/Periodical rest independent of trip/daily rest of 16 hours. 

The Regional Labour Commissioner(C), Bengaluru, vide order no. 95/01/200-B2 dated 22/10/2001 declared that the trip rest of 16 hours and the weekly rest are independent of each other, and shall not run concurrently or overlap each other. The said decision reached its finality by the judgement of Hon. High Court of Karnataka in WP no. 6607/2010 dated 13/04/2012, still this has not been implemented by the Ministry of Railways. 

It may please be noted that entire employees, whether they are under Government service or in private/informal sector are allowed with a day’s rest on 7th day of the week. The break off duty at 17 hours on Saturday and enjoy one day rest on Sunday and resume duty at 9 hours on Monday, that works out to 40 hours weekly rest. Therefore request to allow weekly/periodical rest independent of trip/daily rest of 16 hours. 

5 Restrict continuous night duties to two. 

The loco running staff are subjected to work in hostile situations and the working conditions imposed upon them are not conducive to ensure safety. Appreciating this fact, the High Power Committee on duty hours and rest recommended to limit the continuous night duty to two followed by an order No. 2016/Elec(TRS)113/safety misc, dated 24.01.2017 issued by Member Electrical, Railway Board, directing not to book crew for more than two nights at a stretch, which is not been adhered by the zonal Railways. Still the crew have to work 4 to 6 nights continuously. Request to restrict the night duties to two. 

6 Revision of Pension of pre-2016 retired running staff. 

The medical practitioner and Running Staff in the Railway are entitled to add a certain percentage of pay to their basic pay to calculate the pension. In this regard both are equally placed, only a variation in the quantum of the percentage. The Government of India made rules for revision of pension of Pre-2016 retired medical practitioner,the same was made applicable to the medical practitioner of Railways mutatis mutandis. But when come to the revision of pension of pre-2016 retired running staff, a new instruction has been issued by the Railway Board Order no. RBE13/2018, completely deviating from the method of calculation. It is humbly submitted that the principle of revision of pension for pre-2016 retired running staff provided for in the Railway Board order RBE 13/2018 is incomplete, contrast to the principle directed to be followed by the DOP & PW by the order dated 12/05/2017 and 11/09/2017. The order RBE 13/2018, instruct to take the basic pay and 55% pay element at the time of retirement, as reference basic pay for further notional fixation of pay in the subsequent CPC periods as per other (non running) staff. Whereas in the case of Medical Officers, the instruction contained in DOP & PW order dated 11/09/2017, instruct to add the NPA after arriving the notional pay as on 01/01/2016 and not instruct to add NPA to the basic pay at the time of retirement. Added to this, the order also state that the Notional pay of running staff in every CPC period should be arrived by the fixation formula applicable to other (non-running) staff and not to take the separate fixation table/formula for running staff issued from time to time for fixation of pay on various CPC. Whereas in the case of Medical Officers to fix the Notional Pay, separate rule/formula issued from time to time for fixation of pay on account of NPA is followed. 

A comparison of pension calculation of running staff with a basic pay of Rs. 11660/- band pay and GP Rs. 4200/- as on 31st Dec, 2015 and one got retired on 31st Dec, 2015 and the other on 1st Jan, 2016 will reveal the gravity of injustice brought by the above erroneous order. 

            Pension calculation of running staff                          Pension calculation of running staff
                        retired on 31/12/2015                                                retired on 01/01/2016

            Basic pay as on 31/12/2015   Rs. 15850/-                  Basic pay as on 01/01/2016   Rs. 15850/-
            Pay element (55%)                  Rs. 8717/-                    Revised pay as on 01/01/2016  Rs. 49000/-
            Reference pay (BP+55%)        Rs. 24567/-                  Pay element (55%)                  Rs. 26950/-
            Notional pay as on 1/1/2016  Rs. 64100/-                  Basic pay (for pension)           Rs. 75950/-
            Basic pension as on 1/1/2016 Rs. 32050/-                 Basic pension as on 1/1/2016 Rs. 37975/-
            Family pension                        Rs. 19230/-                  Family pension                        Rs. 22785/-
           
                        

Even with the implementation of RB order (RBE13/2018) issued for ensuring parity in pension, a disparity of 18.5% do exists for those retired in 6th CPC regime. The disparity is still more at the tune of 28% and 39% for those retired in 5th CPC and 4th CPC regime respectively. 

So the Railway Board order RBE 13/2018, may please be reviewed and the benefit extended by the Government of India be restored to pre-2016 retired running staff. 

7 Stop Privatisation of Indian Railways. 

The very purpose of nationalization of Indian railways was to provide cheap transportation of people and goods.It was also aimed that railway should act as a driving force to bring development to under developed areas.So the railway was design to work as service sector extending numerous concession to passengers and essential commodities.The control of railways with a government was considerd prime important from british regime as military movement depend mainly on rails and still it continue unchanged.So commercialization and privation of railway operation is anti people and anti national. 

Nationalisation and bringing all the railway companies under the single control of railway board had resulted in increase off traffic by two hundred times in tha decade followed the nationalization with a very little addition of infrastructure. Any move to un bundle the railways will certainly end up in under utilization of railways assest and will be detrimental to railways and Indian econome which is in distress at present. 

Indian public sector was hailed much for its role of preventing the ill effects of golabel economic recession in the past. weaking of public sector by disinvestment and out right selling is a sucidial act in the present situation of economic recession. 

Indian Railways is Biggest Provider of Employment to the un employed youth. Contractisation and out sourcing of permanent jobs in railways is nothing but a death knell to the job market which is shrinking to a level prevailed during the 2nd World War. Government owner ship and the unique unitary structure of Indian railways under single management from production of Locomotives, coaches ,selling of tickets and up to running of trains, made Indian railways as the single profit making railways in the world, while shouldering many social obligation and any disruption in the system will definitely lead to total collapse of economic stability of railways. 

This association is of the firm opinion, the initiatives seen taken to improve railways are with a view to earn profit converting it to a commercial institutions. Nowhere in the world do exist a railway network as commercial entity. All attempts in the past to convert railways as a commercial institution had proved fatal. Britten and Argentina are best examples. So we demand a review of the policies on railways. 

8 Vacate Victimisation of Loco Pilot of Kharagpur Division Under SE RLY 

It is a well establish fact that the unrest broke out at Kharagpur followed to self killing of one of fellow running staff. It was caused by the unlawful, vindictive and abusive attitude of the chief crew controller. The entire staff was hesitated against the misdeeds of the CCRC and had sought early intervention of higher authorities. 

The DRM and GM had favourable decision immediately on the following day. The unprecedented delay in settling the issue from the part of South Eastern Railway administration is condemnable and demand to vacate the victimization immediately and keep up the promise. 












      










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