Every pay commission creates anomalies which are dutifully rectified by the government sooner or later.But the sixth pay commision has created an irony instead of an anomaly. The matter refered to is that of assigning the sergeants of the Indian Air Force to pay band -1. It is an irony because it categorises the guard commander and the guard , the instructor and the trainee, the leader of a technical team and its members, all into one goup . The reason or logic behind this unjustifiable action is still not known.
The sergeants from technical trades are normaly equated to diploma holders and most of them have 10 years of service to their credit. The non technical tardesmen have specialised knowledge in their respective fields with more than 12 years of service. While all other similarly placed employees in the civil side are palced in the pb-2 the combatant sergeant is kept in the pb-1, which is a blatant violation and denial of natural justice to the prominent and vital rank of the Air force.
It will be interesting to have a closer look at this sergeant rank which is placed in the lowest pay band by the 6 pay commission. Earlier the sgts and flight sergeants were called SNCOs and were the backbones of the air force as far as jobs both technical and non technical were concerned.They enjoyed an element of respect from their seniors and the juniors looked upon them as their role models in Air Force. But in the long run the flight sergeants got redesignated and became junior warrant officers. But the sergeants continued to be known as SNCOs with the same clout and status.
The special status of the sergeants can be seen from the fact that they continue to be accomodated in SNCOs mess along with warranted ranks unlike in the army where havildars are not accomodated in the JCO mess.
Natural justice demands that they be placed in the PB-2 and their status restored. This demand becomes all the more relevant when others with even less basic pay as per 5 th pay commission [like master craftsmen etc] are assigned to PB -2. The discontent and feeling of being let down among the SNCOs are aroused by the fact that the top brass and the EX Service ORG. has not taken any meaningful step in this regard.
This is an earnest appeal by an EX SNCO URGING PAY BAND UPGRADATION OF SERGEANTS of the IAF and not an eulogy or a post mortem of the lost status of SNCOs with respect to PAY BAND.