The engineers are apparently upset over the Seventh Pay Commission, which did not grant them the Group B status despite a notification by the Department of Personnel and Training to treat Railway JEs and SSEs on par with their counterparts in other central government departments.
“The protest will be organised under the banner of All India Railway Engineers Federation (AIREF) at all zonal and divisional offices in country and a memorandum addressed to the Railway Minister and the Railway Board Chairman will be submitted,” National Organisation Secretary V K Badgaiya told on Tuesday.
Badgaiya said all engineers will go on mass leave on Wednesday as a symbolic protest.
“As per the DOPT gazette notification no. 605 dated April 9, 2009, JEs/SSEs working in Railways should be accorded Group B status on par with their counterparts in other central government departments, but it was not implemented in railways,” Badgaiya claimed.
“The notification clarified that all civil posts, for which the grade pay was above Rs 4,200, are eligible to be included in the Group B category. But it was denied to the Railway JE/SSE cadre by the Seventh Pay Commission,” he claimed.
Despite working tirelessly and playing an important role in railways’ operations, the Seventh Pay Commission has kept us on par with railways nurse, pharmacist and accounts cadres who just work for six hours a day in air-conditioned cabins, he alleged.
He said they had earlier also staged a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on December 2. The Federation had then warned of intensifying the stir if their demands were not fulfilled by the railway administration.
The JEs and SSEs are responsible for the safe operation of trains by constantly maintaining track, signal, engine, coach, electric line and bridges across the country and they only grant fitness certificate to trains for operations.
AIRF goes on all-Indian Railway strike
Threatening to go on “indefinite strike”, All-India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) today raised various demands including review of new pension scheme and filling up of large number of vacant posts in the railways.
“We will conduct a secret ballot on Februray 11 and 12 to decide the date and future course of action (on strike),” AIRF General Secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said here today.
He said if railway employees will cast their votes in favour of launching indefinite strike then we will go for it and accordingly a date would be announced.
Currently, he said, there were about 2.5 lakh posts including those of loco pilots, assistant station masters and track men lying vacant in railways.
Mishra also differed with the 7th Pay Commission reports and said “the minimum wage should be increased from Rs 18,000 per month to Rs 26,000.”
According to the 7th Pay Panel recommendations, there would be an additional burden of Rs 32,000 crore on railways and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has described it as “unbearable”.
On new pension scheme, he said, “it should be reviewed as there are many anomalies in it. We want the guranteed pension scheme should be implemented.”
In order to make the proposed agitation a success, Mishra said a sustained awareness campaign will be launched from January 25 to February 10.
NFIR flays 7th Pay Commission recommendations as ‘retrograde’ proposals
he recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission (7th CPC) would reduce, rather than increase, the “take home” salary of 90 per cent of the Indian Railways’ workforce, the largest railway trade union has alleged. The recommendations are effective from the current month and would lead to a total annual wage burden of Rs 28,000 crore, the government estimates.
The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR), that represents more than 90 per cent of the railways’ workforce, has said 1.3 million railway employees are “seriously disturbed” over what they call retrograde recommendations of the panel with regard to their pay structure as their take-home salary would be less than what they currently receive, particularly employees living in government accommodation.
“Those being covered against pay levels 1 to 12 of the seventh CPC Pay Matrix are approximately 90 per cent of the workforce in the Indian Railways and these employees are seriously disappointed as their ‘take home’ salary after waiting 10 years would be reduced ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 6,000 per month with effect from January 1,” NFIR said, without explaining how it arrived at the conclusion.
It added the hike in wages will either be marginal or less than what is received now, NFIR general secretary M Raghavaiah said.
In response to the “illogical” recommendations, the union has threatened to go on an indefinite strike in the first week of March after participating in a three-day dharna at Jantar Mantar along with employees of Defence and Postal services. “The 7th CPC has done grave injustice to the employees in the Railways as well in the Central government employees with regard to multiplying factor and computation of need based minimum wage,” NFIR said, adding a comparison with earlier pay panels reveals several of the current recommendations are negative and illogical.
URMU activists sit on dharna against Railway authorities
Members of the Uttar Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU) started a three-day dharna against the Railway authorities and administration, in support of their demands at the railway station campus in Ambala Cantonment today. The agitation was led by Union president Vijay Chopra and more than 200 employees participated. Their demands include no entry of FDI in Railways, stopping privatisation and no implementation of 7th Pay Commission because the employees would suffer and it was also against their interests.
Hubli Divisional Railway staff stage protest
Members of Hubballi Division of the South Western Railway Mazdoor Union staged a protest here on Tuesday seeking fulfilment of their charter of demands, including rectifying anomalies in the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations.
The railway employees staged the protest in response to a call given by the Karnataka Joint Council of Action of Central Government Employees for a three-day protest from Tuesday to Thursday. Various Union government employees unions have come under the umbrella of the Joint Council of Action to fight for their demands.Staging the protest in front of the office of the Divisional Railway Manager of Hubballi Division, the protesters alleged that the Union government had failed to address their grievances and fulfil their demands. They urged the Union government to look into the charter of demands, which contains 26 of them.
Some of the demands are minimum wages of Rs. 26,000; revision of pay matrix based upon minimum wages; filling vacant posts; scrapping of national pension scheme (NPS); revision of Union government employees every five years; and withdrawal of stipulated ceiling on compassionate appointments.
As per the protest plan of the joint council, the protests would be held at the office of the Divisional Railway Manager of Bengaluru Division in Bengaluru on Wednesday and in front of the Defence Office near TV Tower in Bengaluru on Thursday.