“WE TRANSFORM DEAF KIDS’ LIVES, YET SEVERAL EMPLOYEES ARE LIVING IN THEIR CARS DUE TO LOW WAGES."
I attended the California School for the Deaf (CSD) in Fremont as a child and came to work here as a night counselor before getting my teaching credentials. I want to be a strong advocate for all represented units at CSD, and that’s why I want to make sure that the State knows what they are doing to us.
My workplace suffers from the same issues as many others across the state, especially cost of living issues. Many of our staff members are forced to live in Fremont due to rising inflation, food costs, and gentrification. The State is aware of these issues. They spend millions of dollars on programs to solve them, while their own workers experience them every day.
Like many public education departments, we are also understaffed due to retention issues caused by the widening gap in pay. However, at CSD we have our own unique issues. We cannot provide our essential services to our students without being adequately supported. Systemic audism in deaf education means that our community faces a form of cultural genocide, with societal impacts beyond our school. More and more families and relatives of CSD employees feel the pressure of these policies, which further marginalizes and limits their ability to use resources at the school.
While the State fails to act, several of our members are living in cars due to the cost of living. Two of our teachers have dealt with these issues for almost a year. It’s unacceptable that we are unable to support ourselves while we work. The State needs to provide us with the resources we need to keep working and to keep our community alive.
CALIFORNIA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF (CSD)