May 2016 Issue - Labor Issues
June 02, 2016

How hot is your work area?

Source: NYSUT United

Overheated schools and colleges affect learning, waste energy, cost employers money and can be a serious health threat. As bad as it is for students, overheating makes it harder for employees to teach and to work.

Many NYSUT members try to cool their work areas with fans or by opening windows — if they have windows. This isn't a real solution to fix the problem of overheating. Addressing this issue is a priority for NYSUT's statewide health and safety committee.

NYSUT is partnering with the New York League of Conservation Voters to gather data and address the problem. As the weather gets warmer, we are asking pre-K–12 and college members whose work areas are abnormally warm from June through August to record their work-area temperatures for a two-week period. This information will be combined with data we will gather next winter to develop a report and recommendations that address overheated classrooms/workspaces.

A "Classroom Temperature Record" form is on the NYSUT "workplace health and safety" page for downloading at www.nysut.org/healthandsafety. It has space for you, your coworkers or your students to track temperatures and the times they were recorded, along with instructions on how to do it.

— Wendy Hord