Editorial: APS employees’ sacrifices should be appreciated by everyone

The sacrifice being asked of Alpena Public Schools employees is significant, and their willingness to assist the district is appreciated and we believe – noteworthy.

Again this week certain bargaining units of the district agreed to wage reductions being asked of them. Their action mirrored reductions previously agreed to by others, including district officials and Superintendent Brent Holcomb. In the weeks ahead other bargaining units will be asked to make similar concessions.

Too often those who work in public education get a bad rap. We believe it is the general opinion of many that school employees are paid well for the work they do.

We disagree, but that isn’t important. What is noteworthy is the fact that regardless of what they are being paid, these employees in Alpena are being asked for 10 percent reductions which, in many instances, means the employees will be making wages they made a decade ago.

Think for a second what gas prices have done in that 10-year span, and then you disagree with us that the sacrifice isn’t significant.

We appreciate their willingness to assist the district through this tough time.

Bus drivers, teachers and instructional aides still are in negotiations. If those groups agree, then all the employees in the district will have participated in the process.

In Alpena, employees are showing they care about the students and the quality of education being offered. Their sacrifice speaks volumes, and should be inspiration for all of us to rally behind them.