Communication of All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) central working committee
NATION WIDE AGITATION ON 21/12/2022
1. RECTIFY THE ANOMALIES IN PAY & ALLOWANCES
1.1. Necessity to upgrade the pay structure of loco running staff on par with on-running staff.
There is a general feeling that the pay scales allotted to running staff are not commensurate with the responsibilities attached to the post and there is resentment among loco running staff that they are being let down and the Railway Administration deals their grievances with a step motherly attitude. In fact, the Loco Pilot Shunting Grade I, Loco Pilot Goods, Loco Pilot Passenger and Loco Pilot Mail posts have been fixed in one and same Level 6 in pay matrix, though the responsibility and skill required to hold the posts have considerable variation. These anomalies are being represented before the Railway Administration several times. But no serious efforts have been taken by the Railway Administration tp00o resolve these grievances. It may be specifically noted that though the responsibility, skill and medical standard to hold the post of Loco Pilot is much higher than the post of Train Manager, the scales allotted to LP Passenger and LP Mail are the same as given to the Train Manager Passenger and Train Manager Mail. These grievances of loco running staff are yet to be redressed. It is in this scenario the Railway Board upgraded 46 posts in various departments to Level 8 and Level 9 vide RB order RBE 155/2022 dated 17.11.2022 of the Ministry of Railways. As a result, the vertical and horizontal relativity between the running cadre and non-running cadre has been widely disturbed.
The duties, responsibilities, the nature of arduousness, the longer hours of work, unscheduled working time, the highest medical fitness, the sustained attention, no relaxation after taking over charge of train, the knowledge and skill need to be accrued, the continuous absence from the family for a long period of life etc. are the features attached to the post of running staff. No other staff in non-running category are called upon to face this extent of working conditions. So scale of pay of level 6 in the pay matrix for ALPs and distinct higher pay levels to Loco Pilots are most reasonable.
The 6th and 7th CPC have granted pay scales that are one stage below the group C apex scale for Loco Pilot Category. The 6th CPC granted Grade pay of 4200 to LP (Shunting) Grade I to LP (Mai) while apex scale was at Grade pay of 4600. In the 7th CPC all the above posts in running cadre were granted L6 in pay matrix while apex scale was L7 for group C, but for certain categories such as Teachers and Nurses who were allowed with L8 and L9 as an exemption. By the recent up gradation order, the apex scale in group C became L9. As a result, pay level of loco running staff at L6 became 3 stages below the apex scale of group C in L9 and thus the relativity between running staff and non-running staff has widened. This anomaly which now erupted must be rectified.
One among many concepts to allow a pay element in addition to pay scales to running staff is that they are allowed with one stage below the Group C apex scale L7. Such being the position when the highest post in Group C non running category is upgraded to L9, a proportionate up gradation in the pay scales of running staff become inevitable when there is no increase in the percentage of pay element is ordered.
Pending decisions on our earlier demands before NIT and Railways, we demand that the entire post of ALP in Level 2 should be upgraded to Sr. ALP and elevated as done for Station Master Category and upgrade it to Level-6 on pay matrix. The pay scales of Loco Pilots and Chief Loco Inspectors are to be upgraded to L7, L8 and L9 respectively through cadre restructuring.
1.2. Ensure reflection of 30% Pay element in Running allowance rate.
The time-tested formula for fixing the rate of running allowance for LP(Passenger), which is the base rate formulated by RAC 1980 is as under.
Rate of running allowance = (30% of Mean Pay of LP(Passenger) + (20 days TA) National average kilometres of LP(Passenger)
After the 7th CPC, the parameters are:-
The rate of running allowance for 100 Kms for LP(Passenger) on the basis of above parameters under 7th CPC, works out to Rs 748/-. But the rate fixed by Railway Board vide order dated 20/05/2019 is Rs 525/-. It seems that this rate has arrived as follows:-
Rate of Running allowance = (30% of 35400 + 20 days TA(16000) X 100) 5100 = Rs 522/- (Rounded to Rs 525/-)
The rate is derived by taking the 30% of minimum basic pay + 20 days TA, divided by national average kilometre of LP(Passenger). It is our contention that a rate based 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. So this association hereby requests that the rate of kilometre allowance to be fixed as per the statutory rules as defined under IREM and code. It is defined in IREM/code that Kilometre rate includes the 30% of the basic pay of the Running staff. It may be noted that the individual Running Staff draws different basic pay in the scale and not the minimum of the scale.
Before the 7th CPC, to calculate the NDA and KMA the mean pay has been taken. For NDA the recommendation of 7th CPC is not to take mean pay, but to take actual basic pay. This was accepted and implemented. At the least, the recommendation of 7th CPC to calculate the night duty allowance based on the actual pay drawn by the staff would have been applied to the KMA rate. We demand to calculate the KMA rate either by taking the mean pay of the scale or basing on actual basic pay drawn by the individual employees with different KMA rate for different basic pay as done for NDA rate.
1.3. Scrap NPS, extend OPS to all
As NPS bring a double jeopardy of denial of statutory pension and also the 55% enhanced pension on account of the pay in running allowance, we demand to scrap NPS and extend OPS to all
1.4. Allow AMA for Maternity /Paternity/child care/Special Casual leave.
Since they are treated as equivalent to LAP, denying 30 % pay element (AMA) is totally wrong. Pay arrears of the Non-Running Duty allowance for the COVID lockdown period.
1.5. Protect the pay status and pension of medically de-categorised running staff
We demand to absorb medically de-categorised running staff in equivalent non running Levels of pay in pay matrix to their running pay levels and fix their pay adding 30% of basic pay representing the pay element and allowing 55% retirement benefit.
1.6. Grant NDA to All
Grant NDA in proportion to the basic pay drawn by the workers and withdraw the arbitrary ceiling limit of Rs.43,600. This union urges the RB to honour the industrial award of RLT 69.
1.7. Withdraw the restrictions imposed on payment of NHA, OTA etc. in certain divisions.
1.8. Withdraw the proposal to abolish the post of LP Shg Grade I.
2. REDUCE THE UNBEARABLE WORKLOAD ON LOCO RUNNING STAFF
2.1. The union urges the RB to accept the following recommendations of HPC and implement
a) Allow 40 hrs Periodical Rest.
b) Limit Maximum night duty to 2 at a stretch with 3rd night towards HQ.
c) Limit the duty hours at a stretch from signing on to off to 10 hrs. and running duty to 8 hrs. (HPC recommended it from 2020).& cancel all penal actions for claiming relief.
d) Provide Co-LP of the same grade instead of ALP to trains which have a nonstop run for more than 4 hours . Scrap the order to withdraw Co-LP in Superfast trains.
e) Limit the standard hours of work in a fortnight for Mail/Express Crew to 90 hours, cancel the CRB instruction to increase the standard hours of work to 100.
f) Limit the stay away from headquarters to 48 hours(HPC recommended it from 2020).
2.2 Filling up of vacancies
Around 30 % sanctioned posts in the loco running cadre are vacant. As a result, the existing running staff are forced to work beyond the statutory limit of working hours, forgo the periodical rest and are denied leave even for urgent matters. Many promotional posts are not filled due to acute shortage of staff in the feeder category. This union urges the RB to fill up the vacant posts expeditiously.
2.3 Withdraw the impossible task imposed on the crew to learn the station diagrams/yard diagrams of the entire section by heart to be withdrawn.
2.4 Stop inhuman penalties for SPAD to reduce the stress while on duty.
Instead of initiating DAR proceedings on running staff for committing SPAD, the involved crew be given counselling and further training for any shortcoming on the part of them.
2.5 Implement the RB order to serve call after 16 hours rest. Cancel all penalties for the charge of not found within rest hours.
2.6 Improvement in the condition of the running room, ensure the standard of the food supplied and ensure proper facilities for lady occupants.
2.7 Provide Tool Box in Loco Cab
3. ENSURE CREW FRIENDLY WORKING ATMOSPHERE
a) Provide air-conditioners in all loco cabs.
b) Modify loco cabs with correct and uniform position of driving gadgets to ensure safety and ergonomics.
c) Relocate all confusing signals.
d) Link Fog Signal Device with RTIS
e) Provide toilet in locomotives
f) Allow meals break and 10 minutes stop for every 5 hour for biological need of crew
g) Ensure respect to motherhood. Cancel all unjust penal actions against lady running staff on this score.
h) Give more chances to pass the aptitude test for staff who are involved in SPAD.
i) Ensure hassle free process of IDT/IRT/ Mutual transfer and help the employees serve the railways and families better
j) Stop Headquarter bypass. Cancel all punishments awarded for demanding relief at HQs
4. Stop compelling the crew to violate safety rules. Cancel all penal actions initiated for demanding adherence of safety.
(i) stop compelling crew to run trains without BV,TMR or both and without LV/Tail lamp.
(ii) stop compelling crew to run trains without conducting brake continuity test.
(iii) stop compelling crew to run trains with invalid BPC.
(iv) stop compelling crew to run long hauled trains such as tiger, python, Vasuki etc.
(v) withdraw ICMS caution orders until proper software is modified to complaint free.
(vi) take up the traffic officers and supervisors for issuing control messages to violate safety rules.
(vii) withdraw the order asking ALPs to continuously hold RS/Emergency brake handle after passing a signal at Caution.
5. Abandon the pro corporate & anti-people economic policies, repeal the anti-worker Labour Codes, repeal Electricity bill & stop privatization of Railways & public sector
Solicit positive actions from the concerned authorities on the above grievances and demands.