Resolutions adopted at Safety Seminar of both the Loco & Traffic Running Staff, held at Mumbai on 16th February, 2016
The Safety Seminar of both the Loco & Traffic Running Staff, held at Mumbai on 16th February, 2016 under the aegis of All India Railwaymen’s Federation(AIRF), threadbare discussed the safety aspect of working of the Indian Railways and notes with concern that the Running Staff are being compelled to work longer duty hours, denied rest and to remain out of Headquarters for 3/4 days continuously, which are potential danger in safe operation of Railways and their own safety. This seminar notes that the Running Rooms, which are “home away from home”, for the Running Staff are not being maintained properly despite repeated representations….
Resolutions adopted at Safety Seminar of both the Loco & Traffic Running Staff, held at Mumbai on 16th February, 2016
IMPROVEMENT IN DUTY HOURS, REST ETC. OF THE RUNNING STAFF
The Safety Seminar of both the Loco & Traffic Running Staff, held at Mumbai on 16th February, 2016 under the aegis of All India Railwaymen’s Federation(AIRF), threadbare discussed the safety aspect of working of the Indian Railways and notes with concern that the Running Staff are being compelled to work longer duty hours, denied rest and to remain out of Headquarters for 3/4 days continuously, which are potential danger in safe operation of Railways and their own safety. This seminar notes that the Running Rooms, which are “home away from home”, for the Running Staff are not being maintained properly despite repeated representations.
The seminar notes that the duty hours, rest, improvement in Running Rooms etc. were raised by the AIRF and the government had appointed Justice Rajadhyaksha to adjudicate on all the issues in the year 1946 and some improvement in these regards were done. The AIRF served Strike Notice on 6th February, 2006. During negotiation, the Ministry of Railways and the Government of India had decided to set up a Committee to go into these affairs. After 5 years persuasion, a Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri D.P. Tripathi, Ex. Secretary, Government of India, was appointed in the year 2011. The Committee has since submitted its report to the Ministry of Railways in August 2013, but, even those recommendations are yet to be implemented although long 30 months have passed.
The Safety Seminar is of the view that, for safe running of trains, Duty Hours, Headquarters Rest, Periodical Rest, housing facilities, conditions of the Running Rooms etc. need a thorough review and demands that the following should be implemented:-
- Duty hours of Loco Pilot(Goods) and Guards(Goods) should be limited to 08 hours from “signing on” to “signing off” and 48 hours a week.
- Duty hours of the Loco Pilot(Passenger & Mail/Express), Motormen and Guard(Passenger & Mail/ Express) should be brought down to 06 hours from “signing on” to “signing off” and 36 hours a week.
- Instead of Periodical Rest, Weekly Rest of 54 hours should be granted for all Loco & Traffic Running Staff.
- Running Staff should be brought back to their Headquarters within 24 hours.
- Headquarters Rest after each trip of 08/06 hours should be 16 hours.
- Condition of the Locomotive Cab and Brake Van should be improved with the provision of toilet and other facilities.
- The EMU/Locomotive Cab and Brake Van should be Air Conditioned to improve working environments.
- Condition of the Running Rooms, which are “home away from home” for the Running Staff, should be improved with the provision of cubical for each batch, provision of AC etc.
IMPROVEMENT IN THE SERVICE CONDITIONS OF RUNNING STAFF
The Safety Seminar of both the Loco & Traffic Running Staff, held at Mumbai on 16th February, 2016 under the aegis of All India Railwaymen’s Federation(AIRF), threadbare discussed the safety aspect of working of the Indian Railways and notes with concern that serious injustice has been done to Loco & Traffic Running Staff particularly in respect of allotment of pay scales, fixation of rates of KMA, MACP benefit etc. continuously by different Pay Commissions, and particularly by the VI and VII Pay Commission’s recommendations, their qualification, arduous and unnatural duty hours have not been given due consideration. Pay scales of Asstt. Loco Pilot, Loco Pilot(Goods, Passenger & Mail/Express) have been pegged down despite repeated representations by the AIRF.
Running Staff fall victim of medical den-categorization, and in the event of that, injustice has been meted out to them in the matter of their absorption and other benefits. In the event of any untoward happening, punishment under D&AR has been legislated, and in that, punishment for Passing Signal in Danger without causing accident, even Running Staff are removed from service as standard punishment. This has not been reviewed by the Ministry of Railways despite recommendation of Safety Review Committee.
Running Staff have to work on 19 types of locomotives, technology of the locomotives has been changing day by day and high power locomotives are being inducted with electronic gadgets. Recruitment qualification of the ALP has still been kept as 10+2 with ITI/Act Apprentice despite recommendations of various committees and also by the AIRF.
This Safety Seminar of the Loco & Traffic Running Staff demands:-
- Entry qualification for the post of ALP be upgraded to Diploma in Engineering for Direct Recruitment with allotment of appropriate pay scales.
- Pay scales of all the Running Staff should be reviewed and upgraded, considering all the aspects of their working.
- MACP benefit should be extended to them.
- Existing rates of TA to be multiplied by 2.25. Revised TA rates, so arrived at, should be taken into account for the purpose of computation of rates of Running Allowance. This should be multiplied by 21 days. 30% Pay Element should be added, and the rate of Running Allowance should only be fixed after that.
- Percentage of Pay Element of Running Staff, for calculation of various purposes, as existed today, should continue.
- Existing procedure adopted for fixation of pay of Running Staff, on revised pay scale, should continue.
- Procedure adopted for fixation of pay on promotion, absorption in alternative post on medical de-categorization etc. should continue.
- All the benefits admissible to Running Staff should continue till they are finally absorbed in the alternative post on medical de-categorization.
- Minimum Home Rest should be raised from 12 hours to 16 hrs., and Running Staff should not be disturbed during the period of Home Rest.
STRINGENT ACTION AGAINST THE RUNNING STAFF IN SPAD CASES
The Running Staff in general and the Loco Running Staff in particular work hard with all precautions so as to ensure safe and smooth running of trains. It is a true fact that, they are the first victims in case of any train accident, and this fact has also been acknowledged by the High Level Safety Review Committee appointed by the Railway Board under the Chairmanship of Dr. Anil Kakodkar.
This Safety Seminar of Loco & Traffic Running Staff is of the considered opinion that the Running Staff makes all possible efforts to ensure safety of the train operation and never ignores the signal. Whenever SPAD cases occur, these are mostly either due to bad weather causing poor visibility, system and mechanical failures or certain confusions.
This seminar further notes that the instructions of the Railway Board entailing stringent action, i.e. “Removal from Service” in case of SPAD are extremely harsh, unfair and unjustified also. There has, therefore, been sustained demand to modify the orders of the Railway Board regarding SPAD not to impose such types of harsh punishment without going into the details of the cases. Moreover, High Power Committee, constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. D.P. Tripathi, has also recommended that, it is too harsh to remove the Asstt. Loco Pilot and Loco Pilot and recommended for amending it suitably.
This Safety Seminar after thoroughly considering all the aspects of the SPAD strongly feels that the instructions of the Railway Board for imposing stringent punishment in case of SPAD should be modified forthwith.
DRAFT RESOLUTION NO.04
INCLUSION OF ALL RUNNING STAFF & LOCO INSPECTORS IN LARSGESS
Safety Related Voluntary Retirement Scheme in Railways was introduced with effect from 2004 which was initially restricted to Loco Pilots and Gang men (Track Man) and this was subsequently opened to most of the categories on the behest of All India Railway men’s Federation. Even though the Running staffs like Assistant Loco Pilots, LP Shunters, and Guards are essentially fall in the same safety Category, they are exempted from the purview of the scheme in spite of putting long years of service is unjustifiable.
The Cadre of Loco Inspectors do belong to Safety Category and before they become Loco Inspectors, they have put sufficient years of foot plate experience as Loco Pilots. Despite rendering valuable services as Loco Pilots, only because of their promotion as Loco inspectors, they are exempted from the purview of LARSGESS which is a gross injustice.
It is to be noted that though the Scheme of Safety Related Retirement Scheme was renamed as Liberalized Active Retirement Scheme for Guaranteed Employment for Safety Staff by the Railway Ministry, the eligibility criteria of age limit of 55 to 57 and the qualifying Service of 33 years was liberalized only to Gang Man as 50 to 55 and 20 years respectively but not to Loco Pilot due to which most of the Loco Pilots are not benefitted by this scheme only because of not fulfilling the eligibility criteria of age limit and qualifying service.
The Conference therefore demand to include the cadres like Assistant Loco Pilots, LP Shunters, Goods Guards, Passenger Guards and Mail Guards of Running Staff as well as the Loco Inspectors in the LARSGESS Scheme liberalizing the age limit and qualifying service by giving due weightage to their service they rendered on foot plate.
DRAFT RESOLUTION NO.05
GRANT OF 55% PAY ELEMENT TO MEDICALLY DECATEGORISED RUNNING STAFF
Running Staff in case of medically de categorization and subsequent posting on alternative non running job on Medical ground are denied the weightage of 55% pay element at the time retirement treating the entire period of service as a non-Running staff member without the benefit of Pay element.
It is a great concern that the Running Staff in spite of rendering most of their period of services in the Running Cadre were compelled to lose huge monitory benefit during settlement at the time of retirement due to the Medical de-categorization just before the retirement which is not justifiable.
It is also to be taken into concern that the medically de-categorized Running Staff while posted on Stationary posts of some other cadre, the Staffs of that cadre are also to lose their opportunity of Promotion and Seniority that also amounts to serious resentment among the other Stationary Cadres. Hence on either side of the Staffs are getting deprived.
In light of the above, the Conference urges upon the Administration to keep the medically de categorized Running staff in the Running Cadre itself on Supernumery Post till their retirement to enable for the grant of Retirement benefit of 55% Pay Element by giving due weightage for the period serving on foot plate and also to avoid complications creating on either sides due to lateral posting in the non-Running Cadre.
All the above five resolutions were supported by many of the members and passed unanimously and All India Railway men’s Federation decided to highlight all the unanimously passed resolutions to the Ministry of railways and to emphasize the Railway Administration to resolve all the issues at the earliest. It has been demanded to include all the above issues in the final Charter of Demands of Strike Notice, scheduled to be submitted on 11.03.2016 by the AIRF on the eve of All India Indefinite Strike which is to be held on 11.04.2016. for which the AIRF leadership also assured.
The Conference was concluded and vote of thanks was given to the Chief Guests and all the Delegates of Affiliated Unions of AIRF by Com. Nitin Pradhan, President of NRMU CR/KR.
The Conference ended at 20.30 hrs.