Indian Railway Employees Federation (IREF) has written to the railways demanding an enhancement in the productivity-linked bonus (PLB) that the workers get every year ahead of the festive season.
The railways pay PLB, which is equivalent to 78 days' wages, to all non-gazetted employees (Group C and Group D) as an incentive to increase productivity and ensure safety. The PLB is calculated on the basis of the minimum salary paid to the lowest grade (Group D) employees.
The IREF has argued that though the railways implemented the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission on January 1, 2016, yet the PLB has still been calculated and paid based on the minimum salary fixed by the 6th Pay Commission.
The minimum salary paid to Group D employees in the 6th Pay Commission was only Rs 7000 while it was enhanced to Rs 18,000 in the 7th Pay Commission.
According to the Federation, all employees of Group C and Group D get only Rs 17,951 which is calculated on the basis of Rs 7000 as the minimum monthly salary.
They have demanded that it should be raised to Rs 46,159 considering the minimum salary under the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.
During Covid-19, when a countrywide lockdown was imposed and people were scared to come out of their houses, railway employees risked their lives and kept the train operations on even if they had to face extremely unfavourable circumstances, the Federation said in its letter.
They set new records in train operations which resulted in an increase in railways' income and this fact has been acknowledged in the quarterly bulletin of the Railways, it added.
The Federation said that this issue has caused a lot of discontent among employees and the Railway Board should address it as soon as possible.
Last year in October, while announcing the PLB, the Ministry of Railways had said that 11.27 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees were likely to benefit from the bonus.
The financial implication of payment of 78 days' PLB to railway employees has been estimated to be Rs1832.09 crores. The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for payment of PLB is Rs 7,000/- p.m. The maximum amount payable per eligible railway employee is Rs 17,951 for 78 days, a statement from the Ministry of Railways on October 1, 2022, said.
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