The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will delay payment for hardship allowance in some of the recently listed areas.
Hardship allowance was introduced as an incentive to teachers and other public officers working in remote areas to compensate for lack of amenities, infrastructure and a challenging environment.
Some of the areas the Teachers Service Commission considers are those that lack access to food, adequate transport and communication, have limited access to social amenities as well as face harsh climate and insecurity.
TSC and three teachers unions which represented primary school teachers, post primary school teachers and teachers working in special schools agreed in a deal that led to signing of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) 2021 – 2025.
In the agreement TSC together with Knut (Kenya National Union of Teachers), Kuppet (Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers) and Kusnet (Kenya Union of Special Need Education Teachers) eighteen areas were listed as the new official hardship areas.
TSC also said it will endeavor to promote members serving in ASAL (Arid Semi Arid Lands) and hard to staff areas holding administrative positions progressively until they attain grades that are commensurate to their respective positions.
The official approved Hardship areas in the Newly signed CBA are as follows :
1) Baringo North; Tiaty East, Tiaty West and Marigat sub-counties in Baringo County.
2) Garissa County
3) Suba and Mbita sub-counties in Homa Bay County
4) Isiolo County
5) Mashuuru, Loitoktok and Kajiado West sub-counties in Kajiado County
6) Kwale County
7) Magarini and Ganze in Kilifi County
8) Lamu County
9) Mandera County
10) Marsabit County
11)Mumoni, Mutito North and Tseikuru sub-counties in Kitui County
12) Narok South and Narok North sub-counties in Narok County
13) Samburu County
14) Taita Taveta County
15) Tana River County
16) Turkana County
17) Wajir County
18) West Pokot County
TSC scrapped off payment of hardship allowance in some Counties. These Counties include Nyandarua, Nandi, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kajiado, Busia, Kitui, Kericho and Makueni.
Last year the World Bank asked Kenya to scrap hardship allowance to save Sh3 billion as part of cost-cutting measures to return the country on track after increased spending during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bretton Woods institution argued that publci officers enjoying the highest allowances work in areas categorized as hardship decades ago, but have since developed and no longer qualify for the tag.
“The review of hardship zones is needed as several regions have developed their infrastructure and social amenities over the last two decades and are no longer classified hardship areas,” the World Bank report on Kenya Public Expenditure Review reads.
However teachers working in areas that have been listed as hardship areas and were previously not enjoying the hardship allowance will have to wait longer for its implementation.
This is because of incomplete country wide data collection exercise. The exercise involves a country-wide data collection exercise by the Inter-Agency Technical Committee comprising of officers from Ministry of Public Service and Gender, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Ministry of Education, The National Treasury and Planning, Public Service Commission, Teachers Service Commission, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Council of Governors, Commission on Revenue Allocation, Salaries and Remuneration Commission and The Judiciary.
The Technical Committee undertook phase I of the exercise during the 2020/2021 financial year.