Topics in the News:
environmental health

Around the UFT | September 22, 2011 >>

From Aug. 22 to 26, at union headquarters, the UFT and the AFT worked in cooperation with the International Chemical Workers Union Council on the 10th annual Secondary School Chemical Emergency Response training course.

News stories | September 22, 2011 >>
PS 51 staffers forced to leave their Bedford Park school when it was shut down because of cancer-causing trichloroethylene contamination in July were happy to be together again in a safe environment for the start of the new school year. UFT President Michael Mulgrew welcomed them to the newly leased school site on Sept. 6.
News stories | September 8, 2011 >>

The UFT is working with an environmental and occupational physician to provide medical consultations for educators who at any time in their careers have worked at PS 51 in the Bronx, the school shut down in August because of cancer-causing trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination — discovered in January by the DOE but not reported to the public until August.

Around the UFT | June 23, 2011 >>

The 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the 41st anniversary of the enactment of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act were commemorated at the 32nd annual New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health Awards celebration on June 2 at UFT headquarters.

Union resolutions | June 15, 2011 >>

The UFT resolves to call upon the city to speed up the replacement of boilers that burn dirty oil before the end of the mayor’s term in office.

Around the UFT | June 9, 2011 >>
Hundreds of sustainability coordinators — each school is supposed to have one — from schools across the city spent a day of intense training at UFT headquarters learning techniques and strategies to make their schools more environmentally friendly and to raise environmental awareness among students.
Around the UFT | May 26, 2011 >>

At the IS 52 faculty meeting on May 2, teachers got a lesson from students on how much electricity was being used by the electric appliances in the school and how much money was being wasted.

Around the UFT | May 12, 2011 >>

The winning artwork of 90 students from schools across the city was on exhibit through April 30 at the Apple Bank for Savings at West 73rd Street and Broadway, Manhattan. The entries of the finalists, students of 23 art teachers, were chosen from among the 500 works submitted for the annual Ecofest Environmental Art Competition.

Around the UFT | May 12, 2011 >>

Discovery HS, called the greenest school in New York City for the success of its vertical farm program, received the first Excellence in School Wellness Award for high schools at a ceremony in the Grand Rotunda of Bronx Borough Hall on April 12 hosted by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

News stories | April 28, 2011 >>
The Department of Education and the School Construction Authority came in for sharp criticism at an April 13 hearing before the City Council’s education and environmental protection committees on the agencies’ plans to remove PCB-containing lighting fixtures in 772 schools over 10 years, which critics insist is far too slow.
Editorials | April 28, 2011 >>
What’s the hurry? The Department of Education says that its 10-year plan to remove PCB-laden light fixtures from roughly half the city’s public schools is a perfectly sensible timeframe. They do not deny that prolonged exposure to PCBs can cause cancer and birth defects. It’s just that they feel “we should not rush decisions about remediation ... when there is no immediate health risk to students and staff.”
Testimony | April 13, 2011 >>

Chris Proctor, UFT Director of Safety and Health, testified at a New York City Council oversight hearing on April 13.

Feature stories | March 24, 2011 >>

“On your way out — turn off the lights!” That’s Luis’ reminder to his 5th-grade classmates every time they leave their room at PS 56 in Richmond Hill, Queens. Off to the gym — “Turn off the lights!” Time for lunch — “Turn off the lights!”

News stories | January 20, 2011 >>

New York State residents, from children to adults, scored an important victory on Dec. 29 when the state approved a comprehensive green purchasing policy to avoid 85 “bad actor” chemicals in products.

News stories | October 14, 2010 >>

UFT President Michael Mulgrew on Oct. 7 joined a prominent group of politicians, community leaders and other labor leaders at a press conference to draw attention to the potential public health risks posed by the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in New York City schools.

News stories | October 14, 2010 >>

A bedbug epidemic the likes of which hasn’t been seen in New York in many years is now sweeping across the city, leaving a path of itchiness in its wake. The irritating critters have surfaced anywhere from individual homes to high-end department stores like Bloomingdale’s. It seems like there isn’t a bug-free spot in the city — and schools are no exception.

Vperspective | June 17, 2010 >>

Looking at the horrific videos of the BP oil spill, some of us in the area of Career and Technical Education were thinking about all the new technology that our students are learning: wind power, solar power and other alternative energy sources, and we all came to same conclusion: “Wow, this is not the time to cut school budgets when the future of America is all around us in this city every day.”

Union resolutions | March 24, 2010 >>

UFT delegate assembly passed a resolution on the DOE's lack of emergency preparedness plans.

Testimony | November 10, 2009 >>

UFT President Michael Mulgrew testified before the City Council Committees on Education, Public Safety & Juvenile Justice on Nov. 10. "Health and safety is a fundamental priority and a fundamental right of all those who work in or attend our schools," he said, "and providing students and school personnel with a safe and secure learning environment is something we all take very, very seriously. The UFT is heavily invested in this issue, with health and safety personnel stationed in all five boroughs and field teams and counselors who are in schools every day."

Testimony | October 13, 2009 >>

UFT Special Rep Anne Goldman, RN, and Chris Proctor Industrial Hygienist of the UFT Health and Safety Department testified before the NYS Assembly Standing Committees on Heath, Labor & Education on the monitoring and prevention of the H1N1 Influenza in health care settings, schools and workplaces.

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