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Topics in the News:
News stories | September 26, 2013 >>
Union members have until Oct. 3 to file for financial compensation for economic losses they suffered from working or living around the World Trade Center site after 9/11. However, those suffering from illnesses related to 9/11 have lots of time to seek free health benefits.
News stories | May 30, 2013 >>
Following alarming incidents of leaking and smoking PCB-laden light fixtures in New York City public schools this spring, the Department of Education agreed on May 22 to cut in half its time frame for replacing them.
News stories | May 16, 2013 >>
The Department of Education has finally agreed to speed its replacement of light fixtures laden with cancer-causing PCBs that threaten the health and safety of students and staff in 650 city schools.
News stories | May 16, 2013 >>
A group of parents at schools co-located with charters are calling on the state to temporarily halt any construction work by Success Academy Charter School in public school buildings.
News stories | March 21, 2013 >>
Outraged parents and elected officials called the March 8 press conference at PS 87 on the Upper West Side to protest the Department of Education‘s failure to notify parents of a leak of toxic PCBs from a classroom lighting fixture three months earlier.
Union resolutions | January 17, 2013 >>
The UFT resolves to support the issuing of Green Apple Bonds to rid all New York City public schools of PCB-laden light fixtures by 2015 and encourage all parties involved to expedite the issuance of these bonds.
Know your rights | December 20, 2012 >>
In the event of exposures to human blood or body fluids, there are a number of steps that a school should take to safeguard staff and students. The principal is responsible for the implementation of a bloodborne pathogens program that includes a site-specific Exposure Control Plan.
Around the UFT | December 6, 2012 >>
UFT President Michael Mulgrew joined City Comptroller John Liu for a Nov. 30 press conference at the comptroller’s lower Manhattan office calling for the issuance of Green Apple Bonds to speed the removal of PCB-laden light fixtures from the 772 city schools that have fixtures with the carcinogen.
News stories | November 1, 2012 >>
After years of pressure from parents, the UFT and other concerned groups, the mayor announced on Oct. 17 that the city will speed up the removal of PCB-laden light fixtures that have threatened students and teachers in 655 affected schools.
News stories | September 27, 2012 >>
Just days into the school year, teachers and students at two schools have faced the risk of PCB-laden light fixtures leaking into their classrooms and offices.
Editorials | September 27, 2012 >>
On Sept. 10, a guidance counselor at IS 204 in Long Island City, Queens, noticed smoke and a liquid leaking from a faulty fluorescent light fixture onto her office floor. Tests confirmed that the substance contained PCBs, the use of which has been banned by the federal government since 1978 because of its toxicity. Five days before, on the first day of school, a liquid containing PCBs leaked from a light fixture onto a 5th-grader in a classroom at PS 41 in Staten Island.
Around the UFT | June 28, 2012 >>
The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) celebrated its 33rd annual Awards Ceremony at UFT headquarters on June 5. UFT Vice President Sterling Roberson greeted some 300 attendees, congratulating the group on its successes in “ensuring that every worker works in a safe and healthy environment.”
Around the UFT | May 24, 2012 >>
With as many as 770 city schools identified as having building materials such as caulk and light fixtures that contain harmful polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a labor/community workshop — PCBs in Schools — sponsored by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health explored how best to protect teachers and students from the cancer-causing compounds.
Around the UFT | April 19, 2012 >>
Scores of K-8 students and their teachers celebrated yet another year of art in the service of environmentalism at the student awards ceremony for the New York City Art Teachers Association’s 2012 Ecofest poster contest and exhibit, held on April 3.
Around the UFT | February 2, 2012 >>
To learn how to improve environmental awareness at their schools, more than 125 sustainability coordinators in Districts 1 to 8, 10 and 12 turned out for a daylong professional development session at UFT headquarters on Jan. 10. Every school is supposed to have a recycling program and a principal-appointed sustainability coordinator.
News stories | January 19, 2012 >>
In an important victory for parents, children, teachers and other school personnel, the City Council on Dec. 19 passed two bills to require the Department of Education to provide public notification and reporting on PCBs in city schools. More than 700 public schools in the five boroughs could contain PCBs — toxic chemicals linked to cancer, developmental disabilities and birth defects — in their light fixtures.
Testimony | November 18, 2011 >>
Chris Proctor, director of the UFT Safety and Health Dept., testified before the New York City Council Committee on Education.
Around the UFT | October 13, 2011 >>
Marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, the New York Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health discussed the disaster and its aftermath at its annual daylong conference at UFT headquarters on Sept. 16.
News stories | October 13, 2011 >>
Just three weeks into the new school year, another city school in a leased building has been forced to shut down because of environmental safety concerns. UFT reports of water leaks, falling ceiling tiles and asbestos-containing insulation shut down the PS 143 Annex in Corona, Queens on Sept. 23 and sent five kindergarten classes to safer quarters at PS 307 down the block.
News stories | September 22, 2011 >>
Chanting “No more PCBs!,” dozens of parents, concerned community members, labor leaders and federal, state and city elected officials packed the steps of City Hall for a Sept. 7 press conference hammering the city for its poor handling of a series of recent environmental crises in city schools and demanding faster action and greater transparency in similar situations in the future.