The Climate Works for All (CW4A) coalition of unions, community-based groups, and environmental justice activists have released a new report, “Creating Green, Healthy Schools”, including an equitable action plan for the next mayor of New York City. Using P.S. 62 on Staten Island and Local 3 members and signatory contractors’ work there as a replicable model, their plan calls on the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) to immediately invest in the installation of solar energy (photovoltaic or PV) systems and new HVAC and air-quality monitoring systems at the city’s K-12 public schools, which make up 25 percent of city-owned buildings. The plan’s cost of $1.5 billion would come from the $3.8 billion already allocated to DCAS.
The press conference announcing the report on Thursday, June 3 featured speakers from the City Council, Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), Environmental Justice Alliance, TREEage and ALIGN. Stephen Gianotti, president of Arcadia Electrical Company and Joint Industry Board member, emphasized this unique opportunity to advance apprentices and union electricians on work that will benefit students, school staff and the city at large.
Speaking at the press conference, Business Manager Chris Erikson said, “The climate jobs that will come out of this are key.”
Local 3 became one of the original coalition partners when CW4A formed shortly after the People’s Climate March in September 2014. Their most recent report emphasizes the work already underway by Local 3 members and in direct-entry and pre-apprenticeship programs such as NEW, Helmets to Hardhats, Construction Skills and Pathways to Apprenticeship (P2A).