Brief Meeting – AIRF and Hon’ble Minister for Railways on 28-12-2017
Dated:- December 28, 2017
The General Secretaries,
All Affiliated Unions,
Sub: Brief of the meeting held today with Hon’ble Minister for Railways
A meeting between All India Railwaymen’s Federation(AIRF) and Hon’ble Minister for Railways, was held today, which was continued from 14:00 hrs. to 16:00 hrs. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere.
Item-wise discussion is stated below:-
1. Proper Meetings – The issue was discussed threadbare. The MR assured that, he would meet the representatives of AIRF bi-monthly, and mostly on first Wednesday of the alternate month.
2. Safety – Regarding filling-up of vacancies, the MR assured that, 50% posts in Safety Categories would be filled-up within a period of six months. He also assured that, all steps would be taken to have branded materials/equipments. Training facilities would be streamlined. We have also raised the issue of creation of posts for additional train services and additional workload without insisting on “Matching Saving”. The Minister directed the Member Staff and Director General(Pers.), Railway Board, to make a brief and put-up the papers to him in next week. We have raised the matter of recruitment in the lowest grade Level 1. The MR assured that, the matter of recruitment of the local people region-wise would explored.
3. Seventh Central Pay Commission – The matter was discussed in detail. The Minister has advised the Member Staff to see how National Pension System(NPS) can be streamlined. The MR also promised that, he would raise the issues of Minimum Wage and Fitment Formula with the Finance Minister.
4. Grievances of the Running Staff – Regarding Allowances related to Running Staff and other grievances of the Running Staff , the MR advised the MS to expedite the matter.
5. Continuance of the LARSGESS all over, except jurisdiction of the respective High Courts – There was detailed discussion in respect of continuance of LARSGESS in the states where there is no embargo. The matter was discussed at length. Ultimately, the Minister advised the MS to see how best the cases, already processed, can be dealt with. He also directed the Railway Board to pursue the case in the Supreme Court and move an application for early hearing.
6. Absorption of the Course Completed Act Apprentices in the Railways – This issue was discussed at length. On our ultimate suggestion to de-link appointment of the Course Completed Act Apprentices from regular recruitments. The MR agreed to re-examine. He also asked the Board to enhance the quota for recruitment of the Act Apprentices for training.
7. Absorption of the quasi-administrative offices staff in the Railways – The matter was discussed at length. The Minister advised the MS to submit a brief in this regard.
8. Closure of the Railway Printing Presses – On the request of AIRF, the Minister has agreed to discuss the matter further.
9. Closure of Parel Workshop of Central Railway – On the request of AIRF, the Minister has agreed to discuss the matter further.
10. Shifting of Central Railway Headquarters Building and its conversion into World Class Rail Museum – – On the request of AIRF, the Minister has agreed to discuss the matter further.
11. Improvement in the condition of the Railway Quarters – The Minister said that, he is in favour of the demand made by AIRF in respect of constructing multi-storyed buildings having restricted entry with boundary wall.
12. Improvement in the medical facilities – The Minister is in agreement for improvement in the matter of medical facilities, provision of Mobile Medical Vans in each Division. He also urged the MS to explore the possibilities of reimbursement of medical expenses, specifically for the staff working at the roadside stations as a “Special Case”.
13. Deployment of the wards of the Railwaymen as “Gate Mitras” at the Unmanned Level Crossings – The matter was discussed.
14. Outsourcing – The matter was discussed at length. The Minister advised the MS to see that, all the instructions issued in regard to Payment of Wages, adherence to social security and to take action against the contractors who would be found exploiting the workers, including black listing them.
AIRF strongly demands that, perennial nature of jobs should not be outsourced.
15. Non-implementation of the recommendations of the Trackmen Committee – It was pointed out to the Minister by us that, decision was taken to restructure the cadre of Trackmen in the ratio of 10:20:20:50, and the exercise would be completed by 31.12.2017. During discussion it was pointed out by the MS that the Finance has raised objection in the matter. The Minister asked the MS to put-up the whole papers to him during next week.
16. Employees’ Charter – The matter was discussed, particularly in reference to fill the posts in Ministerial and Accounts Cadres.
17. The issues in respect of extending medical facilities to the parents of the employees and the issue of Companion Pass in the same class were also raised by us. The Minister assured to examine the issues and directed the MS to submit a brief in this regard.
18. The issues of enhancement of production capacity of MCF/RBL and construction of additional Railway Quarters were also raised by us, to which Minister replied that, present target of 1,000 coaches per year would be enhanced to 5,000 coaches per year and availability of the staff would also be explored.
19. On the complaint of AIRF that, hundreds of Railwaymen lay their lives while running the Railways, but they are the unsung heroes, nobody bothers for them, and demanded that, they should also be respected at par with the Martyrs of the Army and Paramilitary Forces. The MR immediately asked the MS that, on all such occasions, some officials must visit and they must be given proper respect.
(Shiva Gopal Mishra)