In the new 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement That was signed by Kenyan National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya Union Of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) and Kenya Union Of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET) and which became effective on July 1, 2021,TSC listed a total of eighteen(18) new areas as ASAL and hard to staff areas.
The new areas consist of major areas where there is a lot of drought and terrorism cases and are a reduction from the previous 38 areas which were listed in 2012.
The new Arid and Semi Arid List (ASAL) and hardship areas include Garissa,Isiolo,Kwale,Lamu,Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana- River, Taita-Taveta, Turkana, Wait and West-Pokot counties.
Others are Baringo North, Tiaty East and West and Marigat sub-counties in Baring 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 Kilifi County, Mumoni, Mutito North and Tseikuru Sub-counties in Kitui County and Narok South and North sub-counties in Narok County.
Besides their basic salary and other allowances,teachers in these areas are entitled to a hardship allowance of between Sh 6, 600 on the lowest Grade B5) to Sh 38, 100 on the highest Grade (D5).
In March this year,the Salaries and Remuneration Commission(SRC) through its circular which was titled Allowances and Benefits Policy and Implementation Guidelines for the Public Sector, readjusted the hardship allowance rates to rates which were aren’t good enough benefiting teachers in these areas.
“Devolution has implied that Counties are no longer necessarily hardship areas since they receive equal funds to promote devolution in the counties thereby addressing the characteristics of hardship areas” the policy outlined
The Commission announced 1,376 promotional positions for Secondary Teachers, Senior masters, Deputy Principals,Primary Teachers, Deputy Head Teachers and Head teachers as per the provisions of Career Progression Guidelines(CPG) for teachers in the ASAL and hard to staff areas in September.
The highest number of vacancies declared in these areas is 299 posts for Senior Teacher Il at Grade c2. Senior Master IV at Grade C4 had 178 vacant posts while Senior Master lll at Grade C5 and Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher at Grade C5 have 105 and 111 vacant posts respectively.
Those who were interested in serving in those areas had until September 28,2021 to send their applications online.
The TSC Commission in the new CBA promised to track at first speed the promotions of teachers having administrative positions and serving in Arid and Semi- arid Land (ASAL) areas.
“The employer shall commit itself to promote members working in ASAL and hardship areas holding administrative positions progressively until they attain grades that are commensurate to their respective positions. Meanwhile, they will be retained in their current stations/areas until attainment of the substantive grades,” outlined the CBA.