SOUTH CENTRAL RAILWAY MAZDOOR UNION
ZONAL RUNNING STAFF CONFERENCE
ON 21-04-2011 AT GUNTAKAL
The Running staff (both Loco & Traffic) are core frontline categories responsible for running the passenger/Freight trains with highest degree of safety, punctuality, round the clock braving vagaries of nature. With the dedicated services of running staff, targets of earnings are fulfilled. Their job is very critical with regard to safety and earnings. They are required to keep pace with technological upgradation from time to time.
The SC Railway is among the top in the Indian Railways as far as loading is concerned with a high level of productivity. Many Running staff are denied leaves and sick memo. They are unable to celebrate festivals, attend marriage functions of close relatives, attend funerals of close relatives and other important domestic works. Leave reserves are not maintained upto 30%. „Out of charts‟ working exist at some places. The Running staff including coaching staff work every day. Chargesheets are issued for silly reasons. The Running Staff are thus working in hostile atmosphere.
With a view to streamline the working system for effective functioning of Indian Railways and to scientifically evaluate and improve the working conditions, this Conference is held.
It is known fact that the A.I.R.F. is championing the cause of running staff at apex level and SCRMU at Zonal and Divisional level. In the VI P.C., the Running Staff is given raw deal in the allotment of Pay Bands, Grade Pay, Rates of running allowances, etc. A.I.R.F had also held Running staff Conference at NDLS on 13.7.2010, which was addressed by Hon‟ble Rly. Minister, CRB and other Board Members, deposing confidence on the leadership of AIRF for its sustained efforts, pressures brought on Ministry for resolving the grievances of running staff. Lot of issues were deliberated and taken.
Resolution no.1: FILLING UP OF VACANCIES IN LOCO & TRAFFIC RUNNING CADRES.
The intake of manpower in these cadres is not at all appreciable. Lot of vacancies continues to exist throughout the years. The six monthly reviews conducted in the past did not project the actual traffic forecast. Due to this widening gap, the staffs are always put to lot of hardship in overworking, stress without proper rest etc., leading to harassment and unsafe working, punishing the staff for the system failure. The South Central Railway, being a high growth railway, lot of new trains are being introduced on a
regular basis. „Special Trains‟ are not really seasonal, as they are run throughout the year. New sidings are brought in for increased loadings. Regrettably, no action is taken by the administration to increase the manpower. There are vacancies of running staff on this railway which amply speaks of the sordid state of affairs on the manpower planning front.
This Conference strongly urges that scientific approach be adopted for ensuring regular and sufficient intake of manpower with advance planning to commensurate with the volume of the traffic.
Resolution no.2 : REDUCTION OF WORKING HOURS OF RUNNING STAFF.
With the sustained efforts of AIRF in yester years, the Running staff are brought under the ambit of HOER through adjudication award headed by justice Rajadyaksha. The present 10 hour rule is a very old concept formulated when steam locomotives were prevailing, with lot of stoppages. With the standardization of track parameters, signalling system, double line etc., lot of changes are brought in with the increased speed of trains, where sustained attention is required. The Running staff are put to lot of stress leading to various health hazards, resulting in medical decategorisation, besides untimely death. As such there is an urgent need to review the working hours of these safety categories to rationalize the duty hours corresponding to their workload.
In this context, AIRF/SCRMU have been demanding the Ministry of Railways to appoint a High power committee to go into this particular aspect, which is moving at snail‟s pace. The Running staff are very much frustrated and it may lead to industrial unrest triggering serious agitation.
Therefore, this Conference, in its right earnest demands to appoint a High power committee to study working hours with a view to reduce the same for safe running of trains and also to avoid health hazards to the staff.
Resolution No.3 : CREW REST AT HOME STATION AND OUT STATION.
As per the Hours of Employment Regulations governing the crew, the working hours vis - a - vis rest at home stations and out stations are here under :
1. HOME STATIONS: i) Crew is eligible for rest of 12 hours, if their duty hours have been less than or equal to 8 hours. ii) If the duty hours exceed 8 hours, they are eligible for 16 hours rest, which excludes the preparatory time of 2 hours.
2. OUT STATIONS: i) Crew is eligible for rest as much as the duty hours, subject to a maximum of 6 hours, with two hours for preparatory time.
But, on S.C. Railway the above instructions extending two hours preparatory time after completion of rest is not allowed and the crew are disturbed within the rest, giving a warning call.
This Conference strongly demands for strict compliance of HOER with 2 hours preparatory time after clearance of rest as eligible.
Resolution no.4 : ABSENCE OF RUNNING STAFF FROM Hd.QRS.
Rly Board vide their letter No.E (LL) 97/HER/11 Dt. 30.9.1998 has directed the divisions to keep a close watch at divisional level and also periodically at Zonal level to reduce the period of absence of running staff from Hd.Qrs. This issue was again raised by A.I.R.F in its meeting with Rly.Board on 8th & 9th October 2009 and demanded to reduce the period of absence from Hd.Qrs to a maximum of 24 hours. It was explained to the staff side that every effort will be made to reduce the duration of absence of running staff form Hd.qrs to the extent possible (Bd‟s letter Dt.26.2.2010).
COM/SC has also assured that the goods crew shall be brought back to Hd.Qrs within 48 hours, which is not implemented in all the divisions. On some divisions, the Running staff are even not bought after 72 hours.
This conference therefore demands that the absence of Running staff from Hd.Qrs should be restricted to 36 hours, till such time the High power committee look in to this aspect on its appointment.
Resolution no.5: IMPROVED GRADE PAYS TO RUNNING STAFF.
The existing Pay bands and allotted Grade pay to both Loco and Traffic Running staff are unjustified. As such, the A.I.R.F and SCRMU have been demanding for improved pay bands and grade pay instead assigning single pay band + Grade pay to more than one category with an additional allowance of Rs. 500 and Rs 1000.
The Zonal Conference of Running staff of S.C. Railway expresses serious concern in allotting justified pay bands and grade pay to Running staff as under, in view of the nature of duties carries with very much responsibility.
I LOCO RUNNING Pay band + Grade pay
1. ALP - Rs. 5200-20200 - 2400
2. Sr. ALP - Rs. 5200-20200 - 2800
3. Shunter II - Rs. 5200-20200 - 2800
4. Shunter I - Rs. 9300-34800 - 4200
5. Loco Pilot/Goods - Rs. 9300-34800 - 4600
6. Loco Pilot/Passenger - Rs. 9300-34800 - 4800
7. Loco Pilot/Mail/Exp - Rs. 9300-34800 - 5400
1. Goods Guard - Rs. 5200-20200 - 2800
2. Sr. Goods Guard - Rs. 9300-34800 - 4200
3. Passenger Guard - Rs. 9300-34800 - 4800
4. Mil/Exp Guard - Rs. 9300-34800 - 5400
Resolution no. 6: FINANCIAL UP GRADATION UNDER MACP TO RUNNING STAFF.
In the matter of financial up gradation, lot of confusion is prevailing whether to extend next higher grade pay or only the addition allowance. The financial up gradation under MACP is merely placing in the hierarchy of next Grade Pay with 3% of benefit of fixation.
This Conference demands that, notwithstanding the decision on improved pay bands plus grade pay to both Loco and Traffic running staff, the next grade pay in the hierarchy is to be allowed for 10/20/30 years inclusive of additional allowance as applicable.
Resolution no.7: ENHANCEMENT OF RATES OF RUNNING ALLOWANCE W.E.F. 01.01.2006.
A.I.R.F. and SCRMU have been constantly demanding the revision of rates of allowances as per the formula adopted comparing TA/DA, which has been engaging the attention of Rly. Board, but tangible results are not forthcoming immediately. This Conference demands to resolve this issue immediately revising the rates of running allowance w.e.f 1-1-2006 as projected by A.I.R.F.
Now the TA gets increased by 25% consequent on the DA crossing 50%. As, 70% component of the Running Allowance is TA element, the Running allowance also should be increased consequently . This should be reviewed accordingly.
Resolution no.8: PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE TO ALL RUNNING STAFF WORKING IN COACHING TRAINS.
The Loco Pilot (Passenger) and Loco Pilot (Mail/Express) are paid Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 additional allowance respectively and Rs. 500 to Mail/Express Guards. This benefit is denied to Passenger Guards and ALPs working in coaching trains.
This Conference demands for payment of Rs. 500 special allowance for Loco & Traffic Running staff including ALPs working in Passenger trains and Rs. 1000 special allowance to Loco & Traffic running staff working for Mail/Express trains.
Resolution no.9: ENHANCEMENT OF EXEMPTION LIMIT OF RUNNING ALLOWANCE FOR LEVYING INCOME TAX.
After the persuasion by A.I.R.F, the Govt. of India has enhanced the limit of exemption from Rs.6000 to Rs.10000 after VI P.C. This exemption is not in tune with that of TA/DA element, which is fully exempted. The Zonal Conference demands that the Running allowance in full may be exempted from the purview of income tax.
Resolution no.10: CREATION OF TRAINEE RESERVE POSTS.
Based on the recommendations of various safety reforms committees, the Running staff are imparted intensive training at entry level for promotion, refresher/conversion course, LRS etc., which are consuming a lot of man days. The existing 30% of Leave Reserve is unable to cater to the needs and the staff are not directed for training in time, accumulation is the order of the day. Under the guise of shortage of manpower, the trainings are cut short, which is against the interest of safety. Therefore, this Conference demands that trainee reserve posts should be created exclusively to have intensive and meaningful training.
Resolution no.11: CHARTED CREW LINKS.
It is noticed that administration resorts to tightening the links with a view to increase cumulative duty have indiscriminately denying the “night in bed” at HQ to crew and also increase their total number of out-station days thereby increasing the health hazard on running staff. The absence of “Calendar days Rest” added to the “tight links” is virtually taking Running Staff at the brink of “BURN-OUT” syndrome.
Hence, this Conference demands that tight links wherever in force should be eased suitable to save running staff of mental and physical agony.
With the implementation of extended runs of coaching trains to neighbouring division/railway, some are selecting day trains only for their division/railways and leaving all tough and night working trains, causing heavy mental strains with continuous night working. The links distance is varying from railway to railway.
This Conference resolves that sharing of trains need to be share equally the day/night trains, otherwise stiff resistance shall prevail on extended links.
Resolution no. 12: GOODS CREW BEAT LIMITED TO 150 KMS MAXIMUM.
The Running Allowance Committee 2002 in its report had recommended to increase the crew beat length from existing 125 Kms to 175 Kms and suggested to crew booking lobbies to suit the above distance. A.I.R.F and SCRMU have strongly opposed the RAC 2002 recommendations.
However, these recommendations are brought in to force through back door method on the name of extended runs and forced to work even beyond 250 Kms causing longer hours working with stress and facing lot of hardship.
This Conference demands that the maximum beat length should be restricted to 150 Kms
Resolution no. 13: RESUMING DUTY AFTER AVAILING LEAVE/SICK.
The Running Staff are put to hardship by ordering to resume duty at 00-00 hrs. after availing leave/sick which is causing lot of inconvenience.
The Zonal Conference therefore, demands that the Running Staff may be permitted to resume duty at 08-00 hrs. after availing leave/sick.
Resolution no.14: MAINTENANCE OF RUNNING ROOMS AND SUPPLY OF SUBSIDISED FOOD.
The maintenance of Running rooms/Rest rooms Crew booking lobbies are far from satisfactory though, Rly- Board has given lot of thrust in upkeep of Running rooms. The subsidized meal scheme is not fully geared up in all Running rooms .This matter is badly neglected. At several places, the rooms are congested and no efforts are made to expand the same. At some rooms, basic facilities are lacking. Monitoring of the rooms by Officers is lacking and therefore no action is taken satisfactorily.
This Conference demands to create a Running Room Inspector post exclusively for each division to monitor the conditions of running rooms and infrastructure as per the directives of Rly. Board.
Resolution no. 15 : PROVISION OF LOUNGE.
In case of crew waiting for trains, after they Sign On for duty, both at HQ as well as at outstation lobbies, comfortable lounges should be provided to facilitate waiting without pre- departure tiredness.
Resolution no. 16: STOPPAGE OF GDR CHECK OF GOODS TRAIN.
In the name of GDR check, a lot of physical strain and responsibility has been thrust on LPs and Guards for clearance of stabled stock / BPC revalidation and also clearances from loading points / private sidings. In the course of GDR check, the freshness of GDR is lost and by the time train starts they feel fatigue / stress while Running the trains.
On some of the divisions about 60% of freight trains are running on „invalid BPC‟, which are subjected to GDR check. At times, a single set of crew is clearing 2 to 3 freight stocks form loading points, causing energy loss and physical strain resulting unsafe working.
This Conference demands that the Running staff is exempted from the GDR check nominating flying squad of C & W depot for this purpose.
Resolution no.17 : CO-DRIVER FOR HI-SPEED TRAINS.
On S.C. Railway, Co-Driver is given based on the kilometres working. It may be appreciated that the links are prepared based on the existence of lobby and Running rooms. As such, Co-Driver is to be extended for all the Rajadhani links and Hi-Speed trains irrespective of kilometres working.
Resolution no.18 : AIRCONDITIONING OF EMU & ALL A/C /DSL LOCO CABS /
RAJADHANI GUARD CABIN.
With rapid change in technology, high capacity Locos are put into service for carrying heavy tonnage, resulting in lot of heat generation on the loco, which is affecting the health of the crew.
This Conference demands for provisions of Air condition in the cabs urgently to avoid hardship / health hazard to the crew.
Resolution no. 19 : ON SLR / ENGINE CAB SEAT.
Both Guards as well as Loco pilots/ALPs complain that the seat is a vital factor for their fatigue, as tilted seats with lack of balance and back rest renders the seat vulnerable for Back Pain/ Spinal Cord/ Cervical Spondilitis etc. Hence, this Conference demands utmost care to improve the seats provision as per the health standards to avoid long term adverse implication on the fitness of Running staff.
Resolution no.20: REPLACEMENT OF AGED LOCO MOTIVES AND BRAKES.
Several over aged Locomotives and Brake vans are running over S.C. Railway. They need to be replaced with new ones for safe, comfortable working, avoiding failures. The cabs of locos and brake vans need to be user-friendly, infrastructure for comfortable squatting, look out glasses, as they are required to sit hours together maintaining a high degree of alertness.
Resolution No.21: CHANGE OF UNIFORM.
The existing quality of fabric, both for summer as well as winter uniform is very cheap and of mediocre quality rendering the image of RLYS to an undesirably low face. Instead, the fabric shall be chosen from a branded type and the colour of uniform for both LPs/ALPs/Guards should be changed to a dignified view. And shoes shall be included in the ambit of uniform.
Resolution no.22: UP KEEP OF BRAKE VANS OF FREIGHT TRAINS.
The brake vans need to be provided with lighting arrangement and also keep the brake van in a clean condition by deploying the services of Safaiwalas at train ordering stations to have peaceful working.
Resolution no.23: LIBERALIZED SAFETY RELATED VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT SCHEME FOR RUNNING STAFF.
Railway Board has not liberalized the scheme for running staff on par with other safety categories. Eligibility conditions under LARSGESS may be equally applied to Running staff also.
Resolution no.24: PROPER UTILIZATION OF LOCO INSPECTORS.
The Loco Inspectors, who are expected to monitor the LPs/ALPs nominated to them, are posted as lobby incharges, RCD incharges devoiding of counselling the Running staff regularly. This Conference urges upon the management to utilize the services of Loco Inspectors properly.
Resolution no. 25: PROVISION OF FIRST AID BOXES.
All the deficient/expired items should be replenished not only at the respective depots but also at Running Rooms located at outstation to avoid hardship to Guards.