(TRENDING) TSC TO SCRAP HARDSHIP ALLOWANCES FOR SOME AREAS; Latest TSC News
In a nutshell
The government has been advised by the World Bank to review and scrap off hefty hardship allowances paid to civil servants now that some of the areas previously designated as hardship have greatly developed.
The new mapping is set out to commence in January. Some of the targeted areas by the Teachers Service Commission include parts of Nakuru County, Narok, Laikipia, Kwale, Baringo, Pokot, Kwale, Turkana, Eastern, North Eastern, Taita Taveta, etc.
Teachers currently enjoying these hefty allowances should, therefore, be psychologically prepared for huge pay cuts.
Some of the teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission to work in schools within hardship areas should prepare themselves for huge salary deductions from the year 2021.
This is simply because the TSC is planning to review and scrap off hardship allowances for some areas which have undergone significant development and hence can no longer qualify to be categorized as hardship regions.
According to the TSC, some of the areas that are likely to be affected by these changes include parts of Nakuru County, Narok, Laikipia, Kwale, Baringo, Pokot, Kwale, Turkana, Eastern, North Eastern, and Taita Taveta.
The new mapping of hardship areas is set to kick off in January 2021.
The suggestion by World Bank is pegged on the fact that devolution has brought forth major developments in areas that were previously marginalized hence making the areas more comfortable for civil servants and residents.
If Kenya scraps hardship allowance, it will save Kshs 3 billion as part of the cost-reduction measures to ensure the country stays on track after spending a lot of money on the covid-19 pandemic.
NO LONGER HARSH
According to Bretton Woods Institution, state officers are still enjoying hefty allowances for working in areas designated as hardship decades ago.
It is therefore high time the Government reviews these areas since the majority of them have now developed and are no longer harsh to work in.
This special tag, hardship, should thus be a special preserve of a few areas.
The special 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.
However, the Government has now undertaken major infrastructure projects that have opened up some of these rural areas to businesses and investments.
Consequently, civil servants posted to such areas have access to the same services as their counterparts in urban areas.
A review of the hardship allowance will allow the government to truly ascertain areas that are lagging behind and most importantly free up money for other more pressing needs.
The World Bank has however cautioned that the exercise should be done with a lot of caution as some areas might be lacking amenities for a conducive working environment.
This move comes at a time when the Teachers Service Commission has begun employing local teachers in some areas of North Eastern and Coast following the increased level of insecurity and attacks on non-local teachers.
Besides, KUPPET is also fighting for a harmonized, uniform house allowance for teachers. This will be a point of departure from the current situation where teachers are paid based on where they have been posted with those in urban areas earning higher allowances.
“The proposal on harmonized house allowance is contained in the Collective Bargaining Agreement 2021-2021,” said Akelo Misori, KUPPET Secretary-General.