Teachers angered by withdrawal of hardship allowance

By Joseph Muchiri

EMBU, KENYA: Teachers union has expressed disappointment at the government’s withdrawal of hardship allowances of some teachers.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) first national women representative Dorothy Muthoni said the union could not understand withdrawal of hardship allowance.

“How can a hardship allowance that a member has enjoyed for years just be withdrawn? There is no way you can reduce someone’s earnings as this is against the labour laws of the country and against the International Labour Organisation,” said Muthoni.

She said thousands of teachers in Meru North, Taita Taveta and Kericho had been affected by the withdrawal.

She pointed out that teachers never went to Teachers Service Commission offices or the treasury to make their payrolls as it is always done on merit and thus wondered how it can be reduced. 

“We want to tell TSC that we will not take this lying down, so they should reinstate the hardship allowance for the teachers.”

We also demand that they give the same allowance to areas that deserve it but have been denied. Why should they cause tension among teachers while we are law-abiding citizens?” posed Muthoni.

 She asked the commission to honour the Legal Notice No. 534 of 1997 and their structured dialogue prior to the General Elections in which they agreed that the Legal Notice No. 16 of 2003 be removed as it was denying teachers their allowances.

She said while they do not want to contemplate downing their tools, it appeared as if teachers would always have to go on strike for their grievances to be listened and addressed.

Muthoni also said that teachers should be promoted after getting a certain qualification and questioned why it was not being done.

She asked the government to actualise what they agreed on so that a teacher can live a decent life.

She was speaking during the burial of the father to Embu Knut Executive Secretary John Gitari Munyi in Matiru village, Embu North district.

The deceased, Mathew Njagi, died in a road accident last week aged 81.