Night duty allowance (NDA) – know your facts
National Federation of Indian Railwaymen
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Affiliated to :
Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC)
International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
WISHING ALL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES’ A HAPPY, SAFE AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR, 2021
NIGHT DUTY ALLOWANCE (NDA) — KNOW YOUR FACTS
Pursuant to DoP&T D.M. No.A-27016/2/2017-Estt(AL) dated 13th July, 2020, the Railway Board vide RBE No.83/2020 dated 29th September, 2020 issued orders prescribing ceiling of basic pay Rs.43600/- p.m. for entitlement of Night Duty Allowance to the Railway employees’ w.e.f. July 1, 2017. NFIR has strongly resented the decision of DoP&T/Railway Board while the Railwaymen across the Indian Railways have launched agitations against denial of NDA on account of imposition of pay limit (Rs. 43600/- p.m.). On the insistence of NFIR, the Railway Board have issued orders vide RBE No.96/2020 dated 6th November, 2020 not to make recovery of payment already made since July, 2017 and also decided to refer the matter to DoP&T for review.
As follow up to the above, NFIR has placed the following vital points before the Railway Board for the purpose of sending cogent proposal to DoP&T for withdrawal of pay limit condition:
• The Indian Railways working is unique and complex. The Railways work round the clock for ensuring services uninterruptedly to the travelling public and other customers.
• The staff such as Loco Pilots, Train Guards, Maintainers, Station Masters, Pointsmen, Track Maintainers, Technicians etc., are compelled to perform night duties facing inclement weather conditions foregoing minimum comforts for miming trains safely and maintaining assets qualitatively.
• Considering the merits, the Jagannath Das Pay Commission, had recommended Night Duty Allowance to the Railway employees in the year 1962. Accepting the Jagannath Das Commission’s recommendation, the Night Duty Allowance was introduced in the Railways w.e.f. 01/08/1962 vide Railway Board’s letter dated 07/07/1962 as compensation for night working which is in the nature of overtime allowance to such categories of staff whose duty involves continuous application to work during the whole of the night shift.
• This allowance was dealt extensively by Justice Miabhoy Tribunal in the year 1969 and the given award in the year 1973, the gist of the same is given below:-
1. The demand of the Federation (NFIR) that Night Duty Allowance should be granted to all Railway employees irrespective of their classification or irrespective of their pay limit, which is at present imposed, is “granted”;
2. The demand, the “normal rate of pay” should include not only Dearness Allowance but also Compensatory Allowance (other than House rent) is also “granted”; and
3. The demand of the Federation (NFIR) that Dearness Allowance as revised or reviewed from time to time should be included for calculation of the ordinary rate of pay is “granted too”
• The above recommendations of Justice Miabhoy Tribunal were accepted by the Railway Ministry and instructions were issued vide Railway Board’s letter dated 09/03/1973.
• Pursuant to the recommendations of 4th CPC, the instructions vide dated 14/10/1988 were issued, allowing Night Duty Allowance for all categories of Railway employees classified under HOER as ‘Intensive’, ‘Continuous’ ‘Excluded’ and ‘Essentially Intermittent’ without any basic pay ceiling limit. Although DoP&T vide O.M. dated 04-10-1089 had issued instructions on NDA, prescribing a ceiling limit of basic pay of Rs.2200/-, there was no such ceiling limit in the case of Railway employees in the said instructions (issued pursuant to 4th CPC recommendations), thus Railway employees were treated differently, in the backdrop of the award of Railway Labour Tribunal,1969 (i.e. Justice Miabhoy Tribunal).
• Pursuant to Vth and VIth CPC reports, instructions for payment of NDA to all categories of Railway Employees classified under HOER as ‘Intensive’, ‘Continuous’, ‘Excluded’ and ‘Essentially Intermittent’ were issued vide Railway Board’s letters dated 25/09/1998 and 16/12/2008 respectively without any pay limit.
• Consequent upon the recommendations of the 7th CPC, based on Government of India’s resolution dated 06-07-2017, instructions with regard to payment of Night Duty Allowance (NDA) for Railway employees were issued vide letter dated 08/03/2018, whereby NDA was allowed to all the eligible categories of non-gazetted Railway Servants classified under Chapter XIV of the Railway Act, 1989 read with the Railway Servants (Hours of Work and Period of Rest) Rules, 2005. These instructions were in line with the earlier instructions issued vide Railway Ministry’s letters dated 25/09/1998 and dated 16/12/2008. However, Railway Board’s letter dated 08/03/2018 specifically mentioned that these orders would be subject to modification, if any, after the issuance of instructions by the Nodal Ministry i.e. Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (Department of Personnel & Training).
• The NFIR in its communications sent to the Chairman, Railway Board and the Cabinet Secretary further mentioned that prescribing ceiling of Rs.43600/- is a clear violation of award given by Justice Miabhoy Tribunal, therefore, the Railway Ministry cannot supersede its 1989 order which was in line with Railways Act, 1989 by which not only the IVth CPC imposing ceiling of Rs.2200/- as entitlement of basic pay was made not applicable to Railway employees but also enabled to uphold the award pronounced by Justice Miabhoy Tribunal, which paved way for payment of NDA for all Railway employees performing night duty without any pay ceiling.
• NDA to the Station Masters and other Railwaymen is paid as per the award of Justice Miabhoy Tribunal, 1969 and even the 7th CPC vide para 8.17.72 mentioned about it, indicates that its recommendations were based on the Justice Miabhoy Tribunal Award and vide para 8.17.71 to 8.17.77 of its report recommended NDA with formula. Railway Board had also accepted the recommendations for payment of NDA with effect from 01-07-2017 for all non-gazetted Railway employees, classified under Chapter XIV of Railway Act, 1989; (i.e Intensive, Continuous and EI)
It is a matter of satisfaction that the Railway Board has taken into consideration the above valid points of NFIR and sent proposal to the DoP&T vide O.M.No.E(P&A)II-2017/HW-1 dated 19/11/2020 to give liberty to the Ministry of Railways to decide issue of Prescribing pay ceiling for entitlement of NDA for Railway employees.
NFIR is also pursuing the matter at DoP&T level.
All Railwaymen & Women:
NFIR is the only Federation which is the sole party before justice miabhoy tribunal and now also pursuing the case of NDA eligibility to all grades of Railwaymen, irrespective of their basic pay.