It's not all bed of roses To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
February 8, 2002

I have followed the recent publications in the daily news papers on the recruitment of Guyanese teachers to work in New York, USA. There has been a deliberate attempt by the recruiters to conceal the true working conditions, which our nationals will face once they arrive in New York. I now attempt to reveal some of the conditions, which were not stated in the recruitment interviews.

Teachers in the United States are not paid for holidays when schools are closed, for example the summer holidays, Christmas holidays , spring break. There is a system where a percentage of your monthly salary is deducted each month and withheld. This is then divided up and given to you during the summer holidays, Christmas holidays and spring vacation pay period. The annual salary of $32,000 stated may sound attractive. However salary is paid bi-weekly, and after deductions such as state tax, federal tax, social security, medical insurance, union dues, and the deferred pay to which I have alluded a new teacher will collect approximately $900 each pay period.

Rent in the USA [New York] is extremely high. An apartment is likely to cost between $750.00 to $900.00 a month. Other monthly expenses to be paid are utility bills such as water, electricity, telephone gas [heating] cooking gas and transportation. Note I have not mentioned daily living expenses such as food and clothing .It takes about 8 years before a teacher can earn a reasonable living salary. Support of relatives is a necessity. Now teachers will know why they were advised not to take their family with them. Also a foreign teacher cannot teach for more than 2 years without a New York teacher certificate. Teachers beware.

Linden Jordan.
Illinois, USA