Junior Engineers (JEs) and Senior Sections Engineers (SSEs) in the Railways will go on mass leave on Wednesday to press their demand for the Group B status.
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 PTI 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.