The problems of railwaymen like filling up of vacancies, sanction of addition posts in commensurate with additional work load, scraping of New Pension Scheme, appointment of 7th CPC, removal of anomalies of 6th CPC, removal of ceiling of PLB, implementation of Welfare Schemes assured by the Railway Ministers, implementation of the recommendation of Joint Committee on the problems of Trackman, merger of Tech. Gr. II with Tech. Gr. I, provision of 4800 as apex scale in Gr. ‘C’, upgradation of posts from Group ‘C’ to ‘B’, merger of grade pay Rs. 2400 with Rs. 2800, treatment of 100% CL/CPC service as regular one, stepping up of pay of senior one, extension of the scope of LARSGESS, demand for recruitment of wards of railwaymen, Accounts and other Ministerial staff, grievances of Loco & Traffic Running Staff, Traffic Operating, Shunting & Yard staff, Commercial & Ticket Checking staff, Artisan staff, technical supervisors, Supervisors of other Departments, P. Way staff, staff of Bridge and works of Civil Engineering Departments, Signal & Telecommunication Staff, Paramedical and other Medical staff, Health and Sanitation staff, staff of store department, Stenographers, EDP staff, Hindi Translators, Scientific staff, Train Escorting Duty staff etc. have been represented to the Ministry of Railways and the Govt. of India repeatedly and through demonstrations before Parliament on 25th November, 2011 and 28th March, 2012. The problems were reiterated through a resolution during last 88th Annual Conference of AIRF held in December, 2012 at Vishakhapattnam followed by subsequent representations at different levels. Subsequently AIRF in its Working Committee had to decide to conduct Strike Ballot. The Railway Board at the Apex level had held a negotiation with AIRF on the Charter of Demands on 23.08.2013 and certain issues were resolved.
The Govt. had placed the PFRDA Bill on the floor of Parliament on 3rd September, 2013. All the Unions affiliated to AIRF throughout the country has registered protest through various means against the PFRDA Bill. But brushing aside the opposition the Govt. have passed the Bill on the floor of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The same is now waiting for the ascent of the President.
The General Council meeting of AIRF held at New Delhi on 13th September deliberated on the whole issues and decided to conduct Strike Ballot throughout the country on 20th & 21st December, 2013.
The Govt. have announced appointment of 7th Pay Commission on 25th September, 2013. The Railway Board have issued orders of restructuring of certain Gr. ‘C’ categories on 8th October, 2013.
During Strike negotiation in February, 2006, the Govt. had agreed to appoint a High Powered Committee to go into the question of duty hours and the other problems of Running staff and other Safety Categories of staff. The committee was appointed on 25.05.2011 after repeated representations. The committee has since submitted its report to the Railway Board on 23.08.2012. The recommendation of the Committee is far from satisfaction and the problems need to be addressed.
After reviving the whole situation, the 89th Annual Conference of All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) held at Patna from 22nd to 24th November, 2013 demands on the Ministry of Railways and the Govt. of India to have negotiated settlements on all the following issues, failing which AIRF would be compelled to conduct Strike Ballot on 20th & 21st December, 2013.
1. Filling up all vacant posts.
2. Sanction additional post in commensurate with the increase in the number of trains and workload.
3. Stop outsourcing of perennial nature of jobs violating the provision of Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970.
4. Scrap New Pension Scheme and cover all Railwaymen with Pension and Family Pension Scheme as available to the staff appointed prior to 01.01.2004.
5. Recommendations of the Joint Committee constituted to study the career progression and package for Trackmen has been diluted arbitrarily. The recommendation should be implemented in to to.
6. Remove the ceiling limit of Rs. 3500 for the purpose of payment of PLB.
7. Raise the ceiling of Income Tax deduction to Rs.5.00 lakh.
8. Exempt Transport Allowance and Special Duty Allowance from the perview of Income tax deduction and also raise the Income Tax deduction ceiling on Running Allowance.
9. Remove all anomalies of 6th CPC as agreed upon in the meeting of Departmental Anomaly Committee and resolve all anomalies pending before NC/JCM Anomaly Committee
10. Complete Cadre restructuring of left over categories.
11. Liberalize the procedure of GDCE, raise its limit from 25% to 50% of DR Quota and arrange to hold the examination at Zonal/Divisional level.
12. Merger of Grades of Technician Gr. II and Gr. I duly granting GP of Rs.2800.
13. Provision of GP of Rs.,4800 in place of Rs.4600 to all senior Supervisors.
14. Upgradation of 15% apex level Group ’C’ posts to Group `B’.
15. Settle the long pending grievances of Running Staff such as granting of Running Allowance w.e.f.1-1-2006 duly improving the ALK, Reduction in Duty Hours, Provision of Additional Allowance to Running Staff working in Goods Trains and also to Traffic Running Staff working as Goods Guards and Passenger Guards, improvements in the condition of Running Rooms etc.
In SPAD Cases penalty of “Removal from Service” should be withdrawn.
16. Running Allowance be paid to the medically de-categorized Running staff kept on supernumerary posts and issue necessary clarification for payment of final settlement dues taking 55% of Pay into account .
17. Merger of Grade Pay of Rs.2400/- and Grade Pay of Rs.2800 for all categories of Staff.
18. Grant Parity to Stenographers working in the field office and that of the Secretariat in respect of Grade Pay.
19. Repair Quarters, roads, drains and do not compel staff to stay in inhabitable quarters and pay House Rent Allowance to such staff.
20. Reckoning of 100% Casual Labour/CPC Service rendered as qualifying service for seniority and pensionary benefits pending with the Government in spite of Hon’ble Supreme Court judgment.
21. Issue order for stepping up of Pay of Seniors who are drawing less pay than the Juniors consequent on fixation of pay due to implementation of VI CPC recommendations between the direct recruits and promotees.
22. Stepping up of Pay of senior employee on par with junior employee consequent on modification of ACP Scheme as MACP and grant three financial upgradation on promotional hierarchy.
23. The Safety Related Voluntary Retirement Scheme has been modified as LARSGESS permitting the Railway employees in safety categories to give voluntary retirement so as to enable their wards getting appointed. The age should be extended up to 59 years.
Expand the scope of LARSGESS amongst all categories of staff, re-consider the cases of candidates failed in PET and allot Qrs.to the wards at par with compassionate ground appointees.
24. Improvement of conditions in the Railway Hospitals and filling up of all vacancies of Doctors, Nurses and paramedical staff, regularization of the services of Contract Paramedical staff, provide Medical facilities to the staff posted in roadside stations and Ganghuts.
25. The demand of recruitment of wards of railwaymen as Substitutes has not been implemented by the GMs of the Zonal Railways due to several restrictions imposed in the orders of the Railway Board.
26. The welfare schemes announced in the Railway Budget such as opening of Nursing Colleges, Medical and Engineering Colleges, Polytechnics, Kendriya Vidyalas for the children of Railwaymen, extension of medical facilities and pass to both dependant father and mother of Railway employees etc. are yet to be implemented by the Board.
27. As per the decision taken in the DC/JCM Meeting 5% of the sanctioned strength of the Section Officers in the pre-revised scale of Rs.6500-10500 was earmarked to Non-qualifying Appendix III Accounts Assistants. Consequent upon the implementation of VI CPC recommendations, the same was revised to 1% of the combined strength of SOs & SO(A)s , reducing the percentage. The demand of increasing the same to 5% on the combined strength of SOs and SSO(A)s is still pending with the Railway Board. Also revise the pay scale of Accounts Staff w.e.f 01.01.1996 instead of 19.02.2003 as per judgement of Hon’ble CAT Ernakulam, Hon’ble Kerla High Court, and Hon’ble Supreme Court(Jose Sebastian & Ors. VS Union of India & Ors.). Review Petition No.1494 of 2013.
28. Settle the grievances of AC Mechanics and AC Attendants deputed to work on trains in respect of duty hours, accommodation in trains etc.
29. Even though several times the issue of absorption of Quasi Administrative staff was discussed, no orders have been issued so far for absorption of Quasi Administrative staff in the Railways.
30. Increase the amount of Fixed Medical Allowance and issue Smart Card to all RELHS beneficiaries.
31. Grant parity in pension and family pension to the staff / family retired prior to 01.01.2006.
32. Revise the rates of Risk Allowance and grant Patient Care Allowance to the staff of Medical Deptt. working in Kitchen, Store, Watching duties etc.
33. Limit duty hours of staff to a maximum of 7 hours a day.
34. Review the recommendation of High Powered Committee in consultation with AIRF
35. Pay TA, OT, NDA, National Holiday Pay etc. regularly.
36. Increase the rate of Special Duty Allowance by 25% with retrospective effect from 01.01.2011.