Friday, September 25, 2020

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Letter to the Editor: Schools must pay hourly-wage staff during closures

Dear Editor,

Lots of good things are happening during this Coronavirus pandemic here on the reservation. People are making sure neighbors have food. Sack lunches are being delivered to kids who can’t get their regular lunches at school. Events are being put online so people don’t have to leave their homes. It’s great to see the allowances that are being made to make sure we all stay as healthy as possible. So, it is disappointing to hear that local schools are considering not paying their hourly employees during this state-required school shut-down. These employees are as valuable as the rest of the school staff. In fact, our schools couldn’t function without the hourly employees. So, I appeal to our local school boards and administration. The schools have already budgeted for the wages of their hourly employees. Why not pay them? They have families just like you do. They have children to feed, bills to pay. They need their health insurance. They need money coming in to survive. Sure, you might have to get creative with how you document things, but there must be a way they can be paid. If we were not mandated to have these shut-downs they would be paid. Please pay them. Please take care of the hourly employees. They are valuable. They need to be treated as such.


Jane Hinrichs

Lantry, SD

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