JOINT ACTION FORUM OF WESTERN RAILWAY & CENTRAL RAILWAY MOTORMEN & LOCO RUNNING STAFF

(Address – Motormen’s Lobby C/O Dy. Station Manager, Station Building, Churchgate)
To,        Date – 15/07/2010
The Chairman
Railway Board
Rail Bhavan, New Delhi

Sub: – Views on the report submitted by “Fast Track Committee”.

Respected Sir,

The Joint Action Forum and the Western Railway Motormens association do not agree with the recommendations of the fast track committee as the FTC is prejudiced and has worked with hidden agenda decided by recognized unions, which shows their ill feelings towards the hard working categories. The FTC even did not take time off to read the representations submitted to them and hence their comments & logics are condemnable and also creates a doubt about their knowledge of the Loco Running Staff. In its report the FTC tried to express its own limited powers. FTC can be held responsible for the inconvenience caused to the Mumbai public and also for the industrial unrest among the loco running staff throughout the country.
7.36.50 Recommendations- Loco running staff – the 6th CPC has already recommended to upgrade the motormen post to the scale of RS 6500- 10500 in the PB 2 and also specifically mentioned that “The post will, therefore automatically be upgraded”  

Comments about the Fast Track Committee recommendations-

3.0 The Pay Structure

While discussing the pay structure, the FTC has elaborated the pay structures prior to and after the VI CPC. It has concluded its recommendations (mentioned in terms of reference I), by putting the responsibilities on the anomaly committee (3.4.3).  The salary of any post depends on the importance of the post, responsibilities owned by the individual and the accountabilities of the individual. The motorman carries the maximum responsibilities and is the prime mover of lakhs Mumbaikers. The FTC has ignored all the parameters in deciding the grade pay and even has overlooked whatever was recommended by the 6th CPC. Following points in this regards need to be evaluated and concluded.

  • The Railway Board was well aware of the formation and functions of the Anomaly Committee. The FTC was formed to make its own independent recommendations regarding certain categories (Loco running staff) and to solve their problems (while the Anomaly Committee covers a large range of categories).
  • The Railway Board and so called representative federations are well aware of the recommendations of the VI CPC which has performed the great task of making recommendations for very large number of categories of Central Government staff. Obviously the CPC had to take a macro view. On the other hand the FTC was formed to take a micro look at the problems pertaining one category only. In its report the FTC has completely ignored the anomalies and justifications for demands raised by our representations. This suggests that the FTC has kept a jaundiced eye and has focused too much on CPC report in general while ignoring the specific recommendations for Loco running staff (this job was the main motive behind the formation of FTC).
  • 7.36.50 Recommendations- Loco running staff – the 6th CPC has already recommended to upgrade the motormen post to the scale of RS 6500- 10500 in the PB 2 and also specifically mentioned that “the Commission is recommending merger of the pre-revised pay scales of Rs.5000-8000, Rs.5500-9000 and Rs.6500-10500, The post will, therefore automatically upgraded”  
  • The railway board has already broken the interconnection of the 6th CPC recommendations at several places, while implementing 6th CPC report, (as mentioned in PARA 1.8 of the FTC report)
  • Fact track committee does not have basic knowledge of the Additional Allowance given to the Loco Pilots. This was given on account of more onerous nature of work as well as process of selection involved, where as the Railway Board has given this additional allowance to the Guard (Mail) without any justification and in violation of the recommendations of 6th CPC and thus have broken the inter connection as mentioned in PARA 1.8 of FTC report.
  • As the nature of work as well as process of selection involved is same for the ALP, LP (Goods) and the LP (Pass & Mail) hence the Additional Allowance should be given to all the loco pilots and not to the Guard.
  • In PART – B, Section I (ii) of The Gazette of India has mentioned that the FUNCTIONAL DIFFERENCES should be considered among the merged grades.
  • The Philosophy of the FTC seems to want to fool or cheat the loco running staff, and the different benefits they are entitled to. The benefits mentioned in PARA 3.2.2 have no connection, as these are applicable for every central government employee.
  • The Loco Inspectors are not the direct supervisor/ in-charge of the motormen hence there is no logic that the motorman cannot be given equal or more than loco Inspector (like T.I’s who are on lesser basic/ grade pay than S.S. or Station Manager over whom they are inspecting).
  • As the minimum qualification for the ALP is ITI (preferable Diploma), trained in safety & transportation rules, medically much more superior Eye One to a fitter (B-1) and also owns the responsibility of safe running of train, which is much more arduous than a fitter of maintenance shop, who has been awarded a grade pay of Rs. 1900/ -. 
  • As the grade pay of ALP is almost equal to the Khalasi and the job requirements, medical standards are more hence the railway is not getting sufficient ALPs and the ALPs are switching to better jobs.
  • The table mentioned in 3.2.3. is very misguiding. The correct facts are shown in the table attached (Annexure A), the table can help to show that “How the motormen have got a negative boost after implementing the 6th CPC in comparison with others”. As the FTC hided the boost for other categories.
     

4.0 Running Allowance

Here again the FTC has taken too many references from the Joint Committee and has skipped from going through points raised by the running staff representatives. In the whole discussion, the parity between the TA and running allowance is ignored. Nowadays very advanced computation techniques are available, so it is very unfortunate that the FTC has echoed the words of the Joint Committee that computation of mean pay of passenger driver is impractical.

In short the FTC has not given a fresh look at the issue of running allowance (while it was the sole purpose behind the formation of FTC). Basically the running allowance has two components- one the mean pay of the passenger driver and two- the TA applicable to other staff.

The FTC has given examples of irrelevant allowances, which were recommended to do doubled by the 6th CPC. The FTC must have knowledge that the Running allowance is directly proportional to the TA and when the TA was increased by 3.3 times than the same multiplication factor is to be used to decide the running allowance. The FTC has failed to mention that in the recommendations of 6th CPC the T.A. was to be doubled, then why was it made 3.3 times? Hence it is concluded that the recommendations of FTC are misguiding and baseless and based on ill feelings to Loco Running Staff.

The FTC referred the pay element which was due to the depression in scales of pay of running staff and according to the FTC the same depression has been eroded after implementation of 4th & 5th CPC. But this is not true for Loco Running Staff as “the depression has been widened for loco running staff” hence we suggest that a fresh study has to be done by a neutral body to decide the pay element for the loco running staff.

In PARA 4.3.1 the FTC discussed the financial implications for revised rate of running allowance but the same FTC nowhere mentioned the financial implications due to the revised rates of TA applicable for them also. Today a motorman gets average Rs. 7500/ – per month after driving train with full cautious & alertness, where as a TTE who is having a berth to sleep in coach get a nontaxable TA about Rs. 10000/– per month, what justification FTC is having?

5.0 Duty Hours

The sixth CPC has mentioned in PARA 4.5.5 “that the same would provide more time to the employees for rest and recreation and also enable them to fulfill their domestic and social obligations. This premise holds true even now and actually contributes to their physical and mental well-being and consequently to increase of efficiency. As more and more women are now joining the Government, the five day week facilitates them to look after their dual responsibilities in a better manner. It is also noteworthy that loss of one working day per week was compensated by a corresponding increase in the daily working hours which continue to be 40 hours per week”. This shows that the 6th CPC has well studied the necessity of the REST, to take maximum efficiency and fulfill their domestic and social obligations as well.

The JAF wishes to point out once again that, “Loco Running Staff require maximum efficiency, Maximum alertness, quick reflexes & response and also have to maintain highest medical standard and need rest more than any other staff”. The motorman cannot spare himself for a single moment like other staff while on duty. Now the lady motormen are also working in railways and the same justification is applicable for them too. As the above recommendations have been accepted for ministerial staff but the same are not considered for loco running staff/ motormen and motormen are being forced to work 365 days without any weekly rest, WHY? The motormen need the maximum rest to cope-up with the job requirements, maintain their physical & mental health to ferry lakhs of travelling public safely. Hence their family and social responsibilities are compromised.

The representations made to the FTC has justified the need of classifying the Mumbai Suburban train working as ‘Intensive’. The FTC clearly shows that the committee has escaped from reading the representations (as not a single word is written regarding considering the issue of reclassification).

Further the FTC has carried several misinformation in its Para 5.2 and 5.3 such as:
i)    Average duty hours of motormen in western railway are 7.06 not 6.26, and unfortunately the FTC don’t have basic knowledge of so called stipulated 10 hours. No HOER allows taking work of 10 hrs daily. This shows the sick mentality of FTC members. 
ii)    The running staff is monetarily compensated whenever they are booked beyond prescribed duty hours in various exigencies.
iii)    The statement is wrong as the running staff is compensated monetarily only when their total working hours in a fortnight exceed the maximum limit (104 hours) mentioned in the HOER. Even if a running staff works for more than the ‘at a stretch’ maximum limit mentioned in the HOER- no compensation is paid if total working hours (in a fortnight) remain within the maximum limit of 104 hours fortnightly.
As mentioned in 5.4 “No committee has recommended to change the classification of working hours”. This was years before (at least 30 years), now the working requirements have been changed ( as now you all are enjoying only 5 days working, and only 40 hours in a week) and hence fresh study has to be done for the same. Even under the same HOER, the loco running staff is not being given required rest, and CAT, Bangalore has ordered for the same.

The working conditions mentioned in PARA 5.5 are concocted, misleading and  the working/running room/ cab conditions are worst and no welfare work is being done for the Loco Running Staff.

6.0 Computed Kilometers for Motormen- 

The FTC has either ignored the facts of suburban working or has no knowledge to consider the issue. It is correct that “there was no justification in comparing Suburban staff with main line running staff” as motorman has to work single handedly without his assistant under the arduous conditions. In this context, few of the argument that strongly justify payment of commuted kilometerage to the staff operating these suburban trains are-

A; Protection of trains
In the event of any unusual occurrence this is a mandatory safety requirement and cannot be dispensed with and the entire responsibility therefore falls on the motorman.

B; Securing of trains on graded sections
Bombay’s suburban trains traverse graded sections with gradient as high as 1 in 100 and in the event of OHE failure securing of the train is to be done by the motorman and guard.

C; Frequency of signals
In Mumbai suburban section there are a total of 839 signals, closely placed, demanding the motorman’s continuous attention! This situation is entirely different from mainline operations, where drivers can expect some relief in signal sighting since the inter signal distance is substantially higher, sometimes over 5-6 kms away.

D; Calling out signal aspect.
In the suburban trains, the responsibility of signal sighting rests entirely with Motorman unlike the mainline trains where the asst. driver is available. This peculiar feature visibly strains the motorman particularly since some signals have a noticeably better visibility from the asst side of the driving cab.

E. No Reminder Caution Order –
Like main line there is no facility of reminder caution order for the temporary speed restrictions in the section ahead.

In view of the forgoing and other such reasons as frequent stoppage large number of trespassers, the number of level crossing gates, encroachment along the tracks and the extremely high level  of expectation from the travelling public. It is considered that computation to the extent of double the actual kilometer earned should adequately compensate the running staff, this recommended factor of two is also borne out by the fact that the average earning of a Motorman are 4600 kilometer per month The proposed computation of double the actual would close this gap and remove this distortion in the kilometerage allowance structure .where that of the passenger driver in the same grade are 9800 kilometer per month.

8.0  Single handed Allowance for motormen –

The remarks given by the FTC in PARA 8.4 are irrelevant and showing their prejudice. All the refered work are being done by the motormen in suburban solely (but eyes are required to see the same).

9.0  Restoration of 15 days Casual Leave 

The FTC has shown his poor knowledge and stubbornness again as the 5th CPC has never ever recommended to reduce casual leave of any staff but the 5th CPC has recommended to start 6 days working instead of 5 days a week for all offices and gave an example “how by taking few casual leave the staff get 9 days at a stretch”, but as all the policy makers (officers) and their beloved employees were getting affected hence with the help of employees representatives, a marriage of convenience was made to reduce number of casual leaves and to continue 5 days week against the recommendations of 5th CPC.
The motormen work 365 days and never get the facility of 5 days week, like ministerial staff. The policy makers decision to reduce casual leaves of Loco running staff at par with others is like Back Stabbing to a hard working category. It is illegal and reflects the ill feeling of the so called representatives of the employees and also of the bureaucrats. The rejection of proposed restoration in Arbitration is the failure of the particular federation and an injustice with the Loco Running Staff only.

11.0 Correction in SR 4.35 (E):

The FTC and the whole Railway administration are fully aware of the mistake done by the their COM Mr. Murthy in 2006 and absolved guard of any responsibility. This may cause a serious accident, but the uncaring railway administration doesn’t want to see the safety lapses involved. If only a single motorman is responsible for the entire safety than all the expenses made on the name of safety equipments or employees should be stopped and the motormen should be asked to drive his train safely (like a truck/ Bus driver).
This issue was represented to the FTC but they have turned deaf ears. The correction will be done either after a major accident or after a verdict from court as the concerned rules are far away from the understanding of the bureaucrats who don’t care about the basic safety principal. The safety of thousands passengers cannot be left at mercy of one man and that he is being misguided continuously by the so called In-charge of the train. This is nothing but absurd and illogical on the part of railway administration.    

At last the Joint Action Forum and the western Railway Motormens association request you to consider the demands raised by the forum/ association for better working and cordial atmosphere.

Thanking you
Yours faithefully,
     
(Devendra Yadav)
Chief Convener
JAF of Western & Central Railway 
              
Motormen & Loco running staff.
 9004448176, 9224448326

Copy to –
•    Ms Mamta Banerji, Minister of Railways
•    Prime Minister of India
•    Chief Justice, Supreme Court
•    Chief Justice, Mumbai High Court
•    Regional Labour Commissioner, Mumbai
•    Secretary, Labour Ministry, New Delhi
 

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