It’s Railway Board Vs Railways’ Personnel Cadre!

New Delhi: The Railway Board and the railways’ personnel cadre are on a collision course with officers demanding that the post of Member (Staff) in the apex body be kept exclusively for them, instead of opening it for officers from across cadres of the national transporter.

Recently, the Department of Personnel and Training had approved the recommendations of the Cadre Review Committee (CRC) for encadrement (keeping the post exclusively for a specific cadre) of the post of Member (Staff) in the Railway Board.

The Railway Board had taken a different view on the matter stating it would set a wrong precedent and lead to different cadres — like telecom and signalling, stores among others that are not encadred — demanding a member of their own on the board.

The railways’ group A services includes multiple cadres including: traffic, accounts, personnel in the civil services cadre; mechanical, electrical, civil, signalling, stores in the engineering services cadre; and the RPF (Railway Protection Force), which is also a civil service cadre.

In the railway board, except for the Chairman and Member (Staff), all posts are en-cadred.

“It is unfair on IRPS (Indian Railway Personnel Service) officers that a post is not en-cadred for us in the board. So, whichever cadre gets the post of Member (Staff), their position is strengthened in the board. We are demanding our right,” a senior IRPS official said.

Another official said the officers of IRPS cadre are experienced in handling matters relating to establishment, cadre management, industrial relations and labour laws and thus, they possess varied experience in managing cadre of all employees in all the departments.

So, the railway board should have a representation from the cadre, the official argued.

The contention has led to a Twitter hashtag #injusticeirps with officers tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in their posts.

A delegation led by Anand Mathur, the President of the Indian Railway Personnel Officers Association (IRPOA), also met Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh for intervention in the matter.

“Every post except Member (Staff) is encadred because they are technical posts. Member (Staff) can be anyone from any cadre as it’s basically personnel services. Anyway, the executive deal with their personnel themselves. So, it’s not something that requires specific expertise,” a senior railway official said.

The Indian Railway Personnel Service is a cadre of civil servants of the government of India. The officers of this service are responsible for managing the human resources of the Indian Railways which has a work force of about 13 lakh.