Salaries and Remuneration Commission member, Mr. Isaiah Kubai has supported calls by teachers from Turkana county to reclassify hardship areas.
Addressing the teachers in Lodwar on Wednesday during a job evaluation exercise, Kubai concurred with the teachers on the need to classify some areas as extreme hardship zones due to their harsh climatic and working conditions.
Currently, all areas classified as hardship areas do not take into account their varying degrees of hardships.
“I am willing to help the teachers to ensure the issues they have raised on extreme hardship conditions, and risk allowances are addressed through a Comprehensive Bargaining Agreement (CBA)”, Kubai told KNA after the meeting.
Kubai at the same time urged the teachers not to fear the performance contracting concept saying signing of contracts is a documentation of what the teachers have been doing all along.
“Teachers have been planning their work, but the only thing that the contracts will do is to have their duties formally documented”, said Kubai.
Teachers unions have in the past opposed the signing of performance contracts demanding more consultations before the system can be introduced.
The teachers also raised concern over the high number of their colleagues who are leaving the profession due to what they referred to as poor attraction and retention by their employer – the Teachers Service Commission.
“Almost half of the employees who joined the Turkana county government were teachers”, said Turkana county Kenya secondary schools heads association chairman, Eli Ome.
Kubai had earlier admitted that teachers spend many hours while working yet they do not earn over time.
The job evaluation exercise for teachers which started in February will end in June.
The teachers also want those in responsibilities such as head teachers and their deputies to be paid responsibility allowances.
“It is unfortunate that head teachers, especially those of primary schools, also act as accountants, yet they are not compensated for such duties”, said Kalapata boarding primary school head teacher, James Karody,
Source: News Agency