Chapter Leader Rose Marie Hannon is working hard to get a new roof over the heads of staff and students at PS/MS 47 to end the mold and odors that plague the school in Broad Channel, Queens.
Chronic leaks in the roof of the 1992 addition to the school’s original building have caused water damage to walls and tiles in that part of the school. From 2014 right up to this December, Hannon has kept a sharp eye out for problems, repeatedly calling in UFT health and safety experts to ensure that everyone in the small, tight-knit school community has a healthy and safe work environment.
“I brought the union in because of mold,” Hannon said. “Our school’s rotting roof continues to be the ongoing issue.”
A Nov. 2, 2016 inspection by a UFT industrial hygienist found the chronic roof leaks had caused mold, odor, temperature fluctuations and water damage to walls and ceiling tiles.
Hannon describes the repairs undertaken after each round of inspections as “bandaging a building that is a lost cause.”
With her encouragement, parents began writing to City Council members to end the makeshift repairs and replace the roof.
As recently as Nov. 28, 2018, a UFT industrial hygienist was back in the building because of cold classrooms. The school administration is considering her recommendation that the heat remain on around the clock instead of being turned on in the morning.
Hannon’s persistence is paying off: The school has been notified that the leaky roof will be replaced.
Hannon is more than an advocate for an environmentally sound building. She has built engaged and informed chapters as the chapter leader at PS/MS 47 for seven years and at PS 114 in Belle Harbor, Queens, for eight years before that. And she is building the next generation of union activists.
“I think the most important thing Rose does, and encourages all of us to do, is to mentor newer members to help them become fully informed UFT members and to understand the specific ways our rights are protected and our careers enhanced through the union,” said social studies teacher Maria Boyland.