Railway employees will launch nationwide movement for old pension scheme – Shiv Gopal Mishra
Report by NWREU
The 20th Annual Convention of North Western Railway Employees Union began with a massive rally in Ajmer city where railway employees expressed their enthusiasm. Inaugurating the main session organized at Senior Railway Institute, General Secretary of All India Railwaymen’s Federation and J.C.M. Staff Side Secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said that as long as AIRF and NWREU exist, no government can privatize the railways.
Shri Mishra said in his address that railway employees have built the most modern train, Vande Bharat, at half the cost at which the government imports rail engines and coaches from abroad, then why does the government want to privatize the railway factories.
Com Shiv Gopal Mishra said that the last two Railway Ministers have recommended to the Ministry of Finance to implement the old pension scheme by abolishing the new pension scheme for railway employees. The government is not taking any decision on NPS. That is why, in our convention in Puri, the AIRF passed a resolution to start a nationwide movement until the decision to stop NPS is taken.
AIRF Executive Chairman J.R. Bhosle and General Secretary of NRMU (Central Railway) Venu Nair said that 10 lakh posts of employees are vacant across the country. There are 2.5 lakh vacancies in the railways alone. With the workload on employees, stress is also increasing. Therefore, the government should expedite the process of filling vacancies by giving employment to the youth. They said that due to the efforts of AIRF, the historic task of providing night duty allowance to all Group ‘C’ employees and Level-8 and 9 benefits to supervisors has been accomplished.
General Secretary of North Western Railway Employees Union, Mukesh Mathur said that the GDCE examination for the promotion of railway employees has been conducted in North Western Railway the most in Indian Railways, and the credit goes to the North Western Railway Employees Union. He said that the union has continued its social and welfare activities along with its trade union activities throughout the year and it is determined for the all-round development of the railway employees. Arun Gupta presided over the programme.
Divisional President Mohan Chellani presented a 38-point proposal for the outstanding demands of railway employees in the annual session of the union. In front of the more than 500 delegates present, Com. Mohan Chellani demanded abolition of bonus limit for railway employees, implementation of old pension, limiting the duty of employees to 8 hours, early issuance of fourth notification of GDCE, stopping outsourcing of factories, providing 18-month arrear payment of dearness allowance, holding elections soon for recognition, improvement in risk and hard duty allowance, opening LDCE by reducing direct recruitment quota, providing safety gear, exempting running allowance from income tax, promoting all categories of employees up to level 6, providing level-8 and 9 to all categories of supervisors, improving the working condition of patrolling, increasing the amount of group insurance scheme to 10 lakhs, providing security and facilities to women at the workplace, releasing adequate funds for maintenance of railway accommodation and improvement of medical facilities.
The proposal was supported by Jagdish Singh, Vipul Saxena, Vineet Mann, Manoj Parihar, Mukesh Chaturvedi, Pramod Yadav, Meena Saxena, Sarika Jain, Raj Kishore, Gajanand Mawar, Kamlesh Sharma.
Earlier at 9.00 am, more than 2000 railway employees took out a rally from the railway station with enthusiastic slogans. Horses, bands, drums, open jeeps along with a historic number of women in the rally were the attraction of the rally. In the rally, the workers were carrying slogans and placards of their demands. The rally ended and the convention started after reaching the Railway Institute via Station Road, Martindale Bridge from the railway station. Women were present in large numbers in the rally and convention.
Demands of workers:
1. Scrap the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and implement the Old Pension Scheme for employees appointed on and after 1 January 2004.
2. Bonus should be given based on actual salary and the ceiling of Rs. 7000 on performance-based bonus should be removed.
3. The duty of employees of all categories should be restricted to 8 hours.
4. GDCE notification should be issued promptly so that the anger of highly qualified employees working in lower levels can be reduced.
5. Ensure the safety of workers in factories. Vacant posts should be filled immediately, outsourcing should be stopped, and the process of material delivery should be improved soon.
6. Arrears of dearness allowance/dearness relief from 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2021 should be paid immediately.
7. Elections for union recognition in Indian Railways should be conducted promptly according to old modalities.
8. Risk and hard duty allowance should be given to employees according to their working conditions. The allowance should be increased for those who are already receiving it.
9. By reducing direct recruitment quota in all categories, trackmaintainers and workers of other categories should be provided opportunity for promotion via LDCE open.
10. Ensure timely provision of safety gear to employees of Engineering, S&T, Electricity, TRD, and Technical departments.
11. Running staff should be given the benefits of levels 7, 8, 9 and income tax on 70% of running allowance should be waived.
12. Orders of the upgradation of supervisor category should be implemented immediately and CLI, loco inspector, physiotherapist, pharmacist, chief health inspector, chief lab superintendent and other paramedical staff, stenographer, chief typist, CLA, IT and EDP supervisors, cash and pay supervisors, PRI, official language officer and other categories that have been left out should also be given benefits.
13. Restructuring of technician and other categories should be started immediately and the number of posts should be increased significantly.
14. Trackmaintainers should be given the benefits of level-6. Patrolling should be restricted to maximum 12 km and ‘Rakshak’ devices should be provided to them.
15. Pointsmen should be given benefits of levels 4, 5, 6.
16. Indian Railways should not be privatised. Outsourcing of everyday work should be stopped. Surrendering of posts should be stopped and posts should be created based on the need.
17. As agreed upon earlier in discussions with AIRF, at least 30% of level 1 posts should be upgraded to level 2.
18. All pass facilities/PTOs given to level 1, 2, 3, 4 employees should be of 3 AC. The said benefit should be made available to all employees from the year of their appointment. Parents of railway employees should be considered dependents for pass and medical facilities.
19. Factories should be connected with the facility of PREM (Participation of Railway Employees in Management). POH timings of coaches should be made practical. Outturn targets should be met on weekly basis.
20. According to the constantly increasing workload of TRD, appropriate posts should be created and staff should be appointed. Necessary facilities should be provided to them.
21. The issue of running allowance for ticket checking staff should be resolved immediately. According to the order of the Railway Board, they should be provided a restroom like the running room and given appropriate facilities, including meals.
22. Berths in trains and facilities for rest at destination stations should be made available to escorting staff of Electricity (Coaching) and other departments.
23. Diesel, CMT, drawing and shunting staff at factories should be given the incentive scheme.
24. According to changing pay scale, drawing staff should be given the benefit of timely economic promotion of levels 7, 8, 9 under MACP.
25. Employees retiring on 30 June and 31 December should be given a pay raise before retirement.
26. According to RBI no. 33/2016, benefits of pay fixation in pre-merger grades should not be considered a promotion for MACP. These employees should be given the option for receiving revised wages as per the 6th Pay Commission.
27. To capitalize on benefits provided under RBI no. 212/2019, employees should be given another opportunity to make a choice under FR 22(I)(a)(i).
28. Insured amount for central employees group insurance scheme should be Rs. 10 lakhs minimum.
29. Women should be provided various facilities at the workplace, such as restroom/lunch room, toilets, changing rooms, and their safety should be ensured.
30. Workers living in railway quarters should be given the benefit of electricity subsidy which is ensured by the state government.
31. The conditions of holiday homes, community halls, subordinate rest houses should be improved and all facilities, including AC, should be ensured.
32. Facilities for rest for track maintainers, S&T, and transportation staff should be provided at stations and units.
33. Medical facilities should be improved. Adequate numbers of specialist doctors, paramedical staff should be made available. Scarcity of medicines should be resolved in a timebound manner and patients should be provided with medicines promptly via local purchase.
34. Uniform allowance for all categories should be increased and cash should be provided for safety shoes.
35. Considering the overall reduction in interest rates, the recovery period of the computed portion from the pension of retired workers should be reduced by 15 years.
36. For those employees who are recruited late due to certain reasons, the eligibility for complimentary pass should be increased to 15 years.
37. Computer, printer, etc. should be given to all staff, and gadgets that are very old should be replaced with new ones.
38. Income tax exemption limit should be increased. Income tax should not be applied on PF deposits and transport allowance.