Senate Investigate Hardship Allowance Disparity for Taita Taveta Teachers

In a bid to address the alleged disparity in hardship allowances for teachers in Taita Taveta County, the Senate has initiated a probe into the claims raised by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Taita Taveta Branch. The investigation aims to ensure that all teachers in the county receive the entitled hardship allowances, as specified in Legal Notice No.534 of 1997 and the July 13, 2021, Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and various teachers’ unions.

The Claim

The crux of the matter lies in the assertion made by KNUT that despite existing regulations and agreements, not all teachers in Taita Taveta County are benefiting from hardship allowances. KNUT alleges that TSC is selectively paying hardship allowances to teachers in certain areas, leaving out others, creating an unjust and inequitable situation.

Areas Affected

The union identifies specific areas, including Taveta Subcounty, Taita Subcounty, Ronge Zone of Mwatate Subcounty, Mbololo Secondary School, and John Mark Mwanjumwa Secondary School of Voi Sub-County, where teachers are purportedly not receiving the hardship allowance. These areas, according to KNUT, face challenges such as insecurity caused by wildlife from Tsavo National Park, high water costs, impassable roads, lack of rental housing near schools, understaffing, high medical care costs, and communication issues due to poor network coverage.

Union’s Plea

KNUT argues that there is no justifiable reason for discriminately awarding hardship allowances to some areas while excluding others, as the characteristics of these regions are allegedly similar in terms of climate, topography, security, and social amenities. The union contends that this selective approach discourages teachers from accepting positions in non-eligible areas, leading to staffing problems in schools.

Senate’s Role

The Senate investigation is crucial in determining the accuracy of KNUT’s claims and ensuring that TSC adheres to the established regulations and agreements. If the allegations are substantiated, the union urges the Senate to recommend that TSC extends hardship allowances to all teachers in Taita Taveta County without discrimination.

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