Imagine having to wake up before sunrise and travel three hours to work, only to leave at the end of the day, arriving home three hours later. This is what AFSCME member Bernadette Price does every day to make it on time to her nursing job in San Francisco. She – and her arduous commute – were recently profiled on NBC’s TODAY Show.
After work, the AFSCME Local 3299 member will run to catch the train which will then take her to another train, worrying all the while that she won’t make it back to her home in Stockton, California, in time to pick up her 13-year-old son from football practice.
Unfortunately, Price’s situation is not uncommon. So-called “super commuters” – including public service workers – across the country are forced to commute over 90 minutes to work because they cannot afford to live in the city – or even in the surrounding suburbs – in which they work due to the out-of-control housing market.
The median home value in San Francisco is well nearly $1.5 million. That means that a home buyer would need a yearly income of about $300,000 to afford a home there. According to NBC Today, Price earns $64,000 a year. That’s why she lives in Stockton, California, where the median home price is just under $278,000.
TODAY Show host Megyn Kelly echoed the concerns of many: public service workers like Price do so much to improve their communities but remain priced out of living in them.
“Why should the people who actually keep the country running work have to work that hard to make it from A to B?” Kelly said.
This NBC piece highlights what public service workers go through to improve the lives of others. It takes dedication to make a six-hour round trip commute to and from work, which is why working people who joined together as AFSCME fight for fair wages, which would help at least some of them live in the high-priced communities they serve.
Watch the NBC Today Show story about AFSCME Local 3299 member Bernadette Price’s super-long commute here.