Coretta McDonald says not paid as MP, Parliament says differently

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Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Coretta McDonald who is leading a countrywide teachers’ strike as General Secretary of the Guyana Teacher’s Union (GTU) is being accused of telling untruths to support her cause which the government has repeatedly dismissed as political.

The strike kicked off on Monday with McDonald leading a protest outside the Ministry of Education’s Brickdam, Georgetown office. While speaking to members of the media, McDonald suggested that she is not provided remuneration for her role as a sitting MP.

“When you check the books at the Ministry of Education, Coretta McDonald is being paid as a teacher, not as an MP,” McDonald said.

Such declarations sparked widespread discussion and, unfortunately, confusion among the public.

The News Room reached out to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir for clarity on this matter.

And in a response letter, penned by Deputy Clerk Hermina Gilgeours, it was noted that “all Members of Parliament, except Vice President, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo are paid a monthly salary from the Parliament Office.”

The letter further stated that the basic salary for an ordinary Member of Parliament is $246, 403.

Meanwhile, another questionable comment by McDonald are her assurances that teachers whose salaries as deducted as a consequence of the illegal strike will be reimbursed.

But how?

McDonald said if the salaries of teachers are deducted, then that will be “good news” because “corporate sponsors out there have already pledged that they will reimburse our teachers.”

She did not say who the sponsors are, how much was pledged to her, or what mechanism would be put in place to distribute the money that was promised.

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