The Union Finance Ministry may have rejected the proposal to fix 60 years or 33 years of service as the retirement age (whichever is earlier) for railway employees, but the employees are concerned over the curiosity shown by the ministry in profiling (experienced) employees.
This has created tension among SR workers after a circular to this effect issued by the senior divisional personnel official of Bengaluru division in Southwestern Railway earlier this week was circulated among them.
In his order, K Asif Hafeez, Senior DPO of Bengaluru division requested all branch officers to treat the matter as “urgent” and “important” and furnish the list of staff who have completed 55 years of age or 33 years of service working under their control by 1 pm on November 25.
In SR, the personnel department has already implemented Human Resources Management System (HRMS) project, which has compiled the biodata of all the staff in the zone. “We don’t have to prepare a list. With the click of a button, any employee’s profile can be accessed. List of non-performers has been asked from all departments, not just railways. Even the 55-year age or 33-year service rule is not new. It is an old rule. Only the incumbent Central government is giving serious thought to it,” a senior official said.
A functionary of a leading union claimed that they had learned from the government sources that the VRS proposal would be implemented from April 1, 2020.
“Already the strength of SR has been brought down from 1.3 lakh to 75,000. About 25% of the staff will retire before January 2021. They are hardly filling vacancies. They are downsizing staff strength, ruthlessly, without amending rules,” he said.
There might be a soft opposition from the unions as usual, but they would fall in line, a senior official said.
The chief personnel official of SR, however, denied having considered such a proposal.