NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has issued a 14-day notice to the Teacher’s Service Commission (TSC) to reinstate teachers’ hardship allowances failure of which drastic action will be taken.
Secretary General Xavier Nyamu pointed out that in 1997; teachers negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the government which included designating certain zones as hardship areas and paying the teachers there.
He stated that TSC unilaterally decided to rescind some of these areas and has withdrawn the hardship allowance payable to teachers.
“The areas where this has happened include Athiru Gaiti Secondary schools. Kiguru Primary school, Kamene Primary school, Kalulu Primary school and other new schools established after the 1997 CBA,” he revealed.
He stressed that no one party can purport to tamper with a properly negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“In Taita Taveta, several other teachers in hardship designated areas have had their hardship allowances withdrawn,” he said.
He further indicated that TSC should implement the pending promotions with immediate effect after it suspended the process.
“We have also learned very distressing information that the TSC has suspended the promotion of teachers to all grades. We as teachers shall not and will not take this lying down. We demand that the TSC implements the pending promotions immediately,” he stated.
The house, medical and commuter allowances, among others, were part of an agreement between KNUT and the government that saw teachers end a three-week strike last year.
The teachers were to be paid 50 percent of their basic salary as house allowance, medical (20 percent) and commuter (10 percent).
Already, the government is implementing Sh13.5 billion pay increase to the teachers in three phases that will ultimately see their basic salaries aligned to those of other civil servants in the same pay grade.
This followed the repealing of the contentious legal notice Number 16 of 2003.
A part of their return-to-work agreement said that both parties the government and the union will respect the ruling made by Parliament regarding the validity of the notices.