Merger of DA with Pay and grant of Interim Relief – AIRF’s Preliminary Submission to 7th Pay Commission
All India Railwaymen’s Federation
No.AIRF/405(VII CPC)Dated: May 28, 2014
Justice Shri Ashok Kumar Mathur,
Chairman, Seventh Central Pay Commission,
Sub: Preliminary submission to the VII CPCI, on behalf of 13 lakh Railwaymen, welcome you and the Members of the VII CPC, would like to submit the following as a preliminary step towards our approach and expectations from the VII CPC.All India Railwaymen’s Federation(AIRF) was established in the year 1924, and the leadership of this federation was heralded by the eminent personalities like Shri V.V. Giri, who was one of the founder members of the AIRF and was the General Secretary of the AIRF for long 10 years from 1927-37. Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan was the President of this federation from 1947-57. Last President of the AIRF was Shri Umraomal Purohit, from 1980 to till his death in February 2014. He was alsoSecretary, Staff Side, National Council(JCM) since 1977.All India Railwaymen’s Federation(AIRF) participated in the Independent struggle. It also saved Railway Industry from economic depression of 1930 and faced other challenging tasks at different times.Railwaymen are the second line of defence, and during 1962 Chinese aggression, 1965 Pakistan War and 1999 Kargil War etc., Railwaymen stood firm in the duty post and carried out army and the necessary equipments to war front.During natural calamities, like floods, earthquake etc., the Railwaymen transport necessary helps to the victims, and in far-flung areas in the country for conducting smooth elections. The Railwaymen run thousands of Special Trains, and during the 16th Lok Sabha elections, Indian Railways run 5,000 Special Trains in addition to split coaches for ferrying security personnel and election materials.The Railways is a common man’s transport, cheaper than other modes of transport as also eco-friendly. The Indian Railways is the symbol of national integrity.
EXTENSION AND IMPROVEMENT IN RAILWAY SERVICES
The Railways generate resources, internally also to a substantial quantity. The Railways is having 16 Railway Zones, 06 Production Units and Metro Rail, Kolkata(a new Railway Zone).
Comparative Statement of improvement in productivity of the Railwaymen is as under:
2005-6 2012-13 Variation Net Ton Kilometer (Million) 441762 641849 + 45.29 Passenger Kilometer (Million) 615634 1098103 + 78.37 Staff Strength (In Thousands) 1412.4 1287.3 (-) 8.86%
Traffic Unit for 1000 employees*,
2000-2001 2011-12 535 1408
*Traffic Unit represents Passenger Kilometer and NTKM
Indian Railways working is of belt system. It is not an individual’s performance, but collective efforts of all sections of the Railwaymen, which represents improvement in the performance.
SAFETYSafety gets paramount importance in the working of the Indian Railways. Unfortunately, new trains are being introduced as per the demands, but without increasing line capacity, rolling stock and manpower. Rather manpower is decreasing violating the provision of the Hours of Employment. A committee in respect of Working Hours etc. of the Railwaymen was appointed by the Ministry of Railways, which had submitted its report to the Railway Board in August 2013, but unfortunately, no decision has yet been taken on the report of the said committee despite repeated representations. National average for training is 2% of the total expenditure, but the Railways spent only 0.50%.Railwaymen are the Industrial Workers and govern under the Industrial Disputes Act and Hours of Employment & Regulations, framed under the Railway Act and Factory Act.There are more than 7,000 railway stations, of them over 6,000 are road side stations. Large-number of stations are in the forest and terrorist infested areas. Staff working at the roadside stations are bereft of housing, potable water, sanitation, medical aid, and children education is a far cry.Railwaymen work round the clock, and they have to remain vigilant all the 24 hours in 365 days. A committee was appointed on the Safety of the Railways under the chairmanship of Dr. Anil Kakodkar. Para 2.3 of the said report is cited below:-
Killed Injured Railwaymen 1,600 8,700 Passenger/Public 1,019 2,118 (Unmanned Level Crossing) 723 690
WAGES, DEARNESS ALLOWANCE AND OTHER ALLOWANCESThe wages of the Railwaymen are low in comparison to the workers of the PSUs. This has been constantly agitating the minds of the Railwaymen.1st to 7th CPC appointed only after the series of agitations, submission of Charter of Demands or after the Strike Notice.AIRF had to launch country-wide strike against anti-labour report of the 2nd CPC in the year 1960 and against the report of the 3rd CPC(20-day long 1974 strike).LIVING WAGE was propagated by the 1st CPC as back as 1946-47. It has been embodied in the Article 43 of the Constitution of our country, wherein directive principles have been enshrined. Unfortunately, the same is yet to be achieved after 66 years of the Independence and 62 years of adoption of the Constitution.The 4th CPC in para 7.32 of its report at page 85 had recommended periodical revision/review of wages through bilateral negotiations.Railwaymen need separate consideration in respect of wages, allowance and other benefits. This matter was agitated before the VI CPC also, and the VI CPC in para 7.36.100 of its report had observed as follows:
“Various Railway Federations have demanded a special dispensation for Railway employees keeping in view the profitability of their organization. The demand is not without substance especially as employees have to be rewarded for efficient performance of the entire organization that has yielded continuous profits without resorting to any substantial increase in the passenger/freight fares in the recent years. A separate dispensation in terms of pay scales and allowances is not, however, possible, as long as the organization continues to be a Ministry in the Central Government because it will then need to be governed by the common pay scales and allowances for the entire Central Government. In such a scenario, the optimal solution would be corporatization of Indian Railways as a Public Sector Enterprise. This would allow the Railways flexibility in determining its own compensation package”.The Staff Side, National Council(JCM) Standing Committee, had a discussion with the Government on Terms of Reference of the VII CPC on 24.10.2013 and requested to have another round of discussions in the matter, but unfortunately the government issued the said ToR unilaterally, which was protested by the Staff Side, NC/JCM. A meeting of the Standing Committee of NC/JCM was also held on 07.05.2014, wherein the issue of Interim Relief and merger of Dearness Allowance were again raised.It may be mentioned here that, Interim Relief was recommended by the 3rd CPC, and the 4th CPC had recommended two Interim Relief. Before appointment of the V CPC, discussions were held on different dates in September 1993 with the Cabinet Secretary, when an Interim Relief of Rs.100 p.m. to Group `C’ and `D’ employees was sanctioned prior to appointment of V CPC and subsequently V CPC had recommended two Interim Relief. Interim Relief requires to bridge the gap of erosion in the real wage during interregnum period.
MERGER OF DEARNESS ALLOWANCE25% Dearness Allowance was merged in the Pay after series of negotiation with the Cabinet Secretary in September 1993..The V CPC in its report had also recommended merger of Dearness Allowance when it crosses 50%, and the same was done.It is necessary to point out here that the inflation trend prevailing during 01.01.1996 to 31.12.2005 and from 01.01.2006 to 01.01.2004 inflation was 74%, whereas from 01.01.2006 to 01.01.2011, it was 51%, and further raised to 100% on 01.01.2014.
(Shiva Gopal Mishra)