The teachers service commission, TSC now says that Teachers’ serving in hardship areas will continue receiving their hardship allowances since no area has been removed from the earlier gazette list of hardship areas.
TSC explained that the areas listed in the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) are only the areas it identified as hard to staff teachers and other employees in, despite them being hardship areas.
Concerned about the move, Officials of Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), !Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) and Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET), through separate interviews, clarified the issue of hard to staff areas and said that TSC has no mandate to remove or add any area in the hardship list.
They maintained that what was captured in the recently signed CBA are just areas the Commission identified as hard to staff and only affect those holding administrative positions.
According to KNUT Secretary General Collins Oyuu, the areas listed in the recently signed CBA are only hard to staff despite them being hardship areas and should not be interpreted as new hardship areas. He reiterated that what the TSC has done is to list the hard to staff areas and maintained that they are putting administrators on acting capacity regardless of their grade, who will continue to serve in those administrative positions in the hard to staff areas until they attain their respective grades for confirmation.
“Those areas are hardship but hard to staff, meaning, even positions of Headtechers and Deputies nobody is ready to be there, and those who are there are not even qualified for those positions in terms of what we have in the CBA,”said Oyuu.
“They are promoted to act in those positions because those areas are hard to staff and nobody is willing to go there,” Oyuu added. Oyuu added that what TSC is looking at is the interest an individual teacher has in line with serving under acting capacity of administration in those areas prior to one’s grade until when the teacher attains the full grade of administrator for full confirmations of the position the teacher was acting before.
He reiterated that the hardship allowances are still there for teachers serving in those areas and Teachers.
He reiterated that the hardship allowances are still there for teachers serving, in those areas, and TSC has no mandate whatsoever to gazette or de gazette a hardship area since that mandate has been given to the Public Service Commission, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National government and Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
“That clause was talking of administrators who are serving in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) and hard to staff areas and not qualified to hold the administrative positions.
So, they are going to continue holding those positions until the time they will qualify and continue serving in those stations, “stated Torome, KUSNET secretary general. Torome added that the areas listed in the CBA should not be taken as the new hardship areas since the hardship areas were not reviewed and teachers continue getting their hardship allowances. KUPPET Deputy Secretary General Moses Nthurima revealed that the mandate to remove or add any area from the list of hardship areas lies with other government Ministries and not TSC. In the 2021-2025 CBA, TSC identified 18 areas which are not only hardship areas but also hard to staff areas.
“The employer shall endeavor to promote members serving in ASAL and hard to staff areas holding administrative positions progressively until they attain grades that are commensurate to their respective positions.
Meanwhile, they shall be retained in their current stations/areas until attainment of the substantive grades,” reads the CBA in part.
Garissa,lsiolo,Kwale,Lamu,Mandera,Marsabit,Sambur u,lana River,Taita Taveta,Turkana, Wajir and West-Pokot Counties are the areas.Others are Baringo North,Tiaty East and West, and Marigat sub-counties in Baringo County,Mashuuru, Loitoktok and Kajiado West sub-counties in Kajiado County, Suba and Mbita sub-counties in Homa-Bay County:Magarini and Ganze sub-counties in Kilif1 County; Mumoni, Mutito North nd Tseikuru Sub-counties in Kitui County; and Narok South and North sub-counties in Narok County.