Railway unionists yesterday called the National Salaries and Cadre Commission ‘a white elephant’ living on public money, without providing any solutions to salary anomalies problems in the Railway Department.
“Two years have lapsed since its appointment. During these two years, the Commission had come up with nothing but hair splitting arguments. It failed to bring any solutions to our problems. We called upon the President and pointed out that this was an utter waste of taxpayers’ money,” General Secretary, All Ceylon Railway Employees General Union Sumathipala Manawadu told The Island yesterday.
The Commission had been given powers to identify salary anomalies and related problems in the state sector and to recommend solutions, he said. “Apart from that, the Commission has failed to regularise the recruitment procedure in the Railway service.
The famous 06/2006 Circular that created a mess in the public sector institutions, had created a certain number of problems in various grades in the Railway. It had prevented the upgrading of the railway clerical service parallel with the State Management Assistant Service. Citing reasons for the tug of war on opinions of the Railway officials, the Commission delays in finding a solution.
400 newly recruited Station Masters to Grade II, has been placed on a salary scale of Station Master Grade III. In addition, there are huge anomalies in the Railway Technical Service, Driver Assistant Service, Shunting Drivers Service, Railway Protection Force, Railway Technical Assistant Service, etc.,” Manawadu said.
The Union has already directed these accusations against the Commission to the Transport Minister and the President, he said. “We have an awareness of the current situation in the country. That is why we keep away from union action. Yet, the lethargic attitude of the Commission push us towards action,” he said.
Chairman of the National Salaries and Cadre Commission, Lionel Fernando said that the unionists can level accusations and allegations against them, but that does not mean they are always right. “We have held a number of rounds of talks with the unions and Railway Minister Dallas Alahapperuma on these issues. Unions know that we are trying our level best. But instead of cooperating they just go on accusing us of doing nothing. We acknowledge their right to accuse us, but they should in the meantime understand that time factor is needed to solve these problems,” he said.
By Saman Indrajith
Source: The Island
Tags: ceylon, public money, railway department, railway employees, railway officials, railway service, salary scale, state management, state sector, station masters, transport minister, white elephant