National Federation for Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) has demanded that these anomalies be taken care of at the earliest. NFIR national general secretary M Raghavaiah said the grade pay system had led to several anomalies in salaries.
Employees like assistant loco pilots, technical supervisors, technicians, supervisory staff, station masters, paramedical and ministerial staff have not been given grade pay in line with the kind of work they do. "This has led to a lot of discontent," said Raghavaiah who was in the city to address a team of railwaymen from Sri Lanka.
He also pointed out that another major issue plaguing the railways was that of vacancies in safety categories. "There are around 1.9 lakh vacancies and 90,000 are in the safety category," he said.
This was a grave matter. The number of posts should also be increased in proportion to the new infrastructure and trains added to the system, he added.
NFIR has also raised the issue of working conditions and long duty hours of railway employees. It has pointed out that level-crossing gatekeepers work for 12 hours a day without any facilities. As per norms, duty hours of railwaymen must be restricted to eight hours. Otherwise, they work under extreme stress and strain, said Raghavaiah.