In view of the railway board initiating the process of conferring ‘Group B’ status to 62,000 group C or clerical staffers, All India Railwaymen's Federation has expressed apprehension that the railways would make these posts non-gazetted and deny the employees additional pay and perks.
If the Railways confers “Group B” status to these staffers, they will get a raise of around Rs 200.
They will also be additionally entitled to cars, houses, peons and all the perks associated with being a government babu, if they get 'gazetted officer' status.
The railway board’s move will benefit around 62,000 group C or clerical staffers who may get pay and privileges equivalent to those of group B employees
The order issued on June 12 states that the mandate of the committee will be to examine in detail the issue of granting "Group B status (gazetted/non-gazetted)to various existing Group C posts of Indian Railways (including repercussions and modalities)".
It further said that the committee, consisting of executive directors from the pay commission and the Establishment and Transformation branches of the board as members, has to consult various stakeholders and submit its report in a month's time.
However, All India Railwaymen's Federation General Secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra expressed apprehension that the railways would make these posts non-gazetted and deny the employees additional pay and perks.
"The railway board doesn't want to do this and over the years they have only come up with excuses to say that how can we provide houses and other perks. But we kept saying that it is not about the perks, it is about giving an employee his due.
"I fear that they will make all these posts non-gazetted and avoid giving them any benefits that come with being a gazetted officer. The numbers are not that huge from an all India perspective - around 35,000 employees in the Rs 4,600 pay grade will come under the purview of the committee," Mishra said.
The number will come to around 62,000 if one includes those in the Rs 4,200 pay grade as well, he said.
Non-gazetted personnel in the Group B grade are senior employees, but they do not enjoy the perks and allowances associated with the gazetted officers in the grade. These include officers in the nine railway services.
"We don't want our men to just have the title of an officer but have no powers or privileges in reality," said Mishra, who is going to depose before the committee to highlight their demands.
Currently, the national transporter has around 10,000 gazetted officers.
(With PTI inputs)