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PFT President Jerry Jordan on Ongoing Facilities Concerns at Masterman

August 26, 2021

PHILADELPHIA—"The situation unfolding at Masterman is emblematic of the years of systemic refusal to provide the PFT, our members, and our communities with accurate, timely, and detailed information pertaining to the health and safety of our school buildings. It is exactly why the PFT not only has been the founder and driving force behind the Fund Our Facilities Coalition, but also have spent years not only defining the facilities crisis but also identifying real solutions. In our May report, we again outlined the severity of this crisis district-wide and pointing to specific actions the District must take to bring about urgently needed change.

"In our report, we highlight the importance of data sharing and information. Unfortunately, the District has yet to heed our urgent calls to share data in a systemic, transparent, and predictable way. As such, we are often left scrambling, looking for information that is provided in incomplete and haphazard ways. This is the case at Masterman.

"For months, we have been working to identify and resolve any and all environmental hazards at Masterman. With more than 60 areas of identified asbestos exposure at the school, it is unconscionable that our requests should have gone unanswered for this long. This situation has many parallels to what unfolded at McClure, Carnell, and nearly a dozen schools in the 19-20 school year. We've worked diligently with the Home and School Association, providing countless hours of technical assistance to the Masterman community regarding the building environment.

"Further, we have made explicitly clear to the District what we need to verify the safety of the building. The most recent request from our Director of Environmental Science, Jerry Roseman, is below. While I need to be clear that today's action by staff is not a PFT action, let me also explicitly note that I understand and share the staff's concerns about their heath and safety and the health and safety of their students.

"I urge the District to immediately provide the requested information, so that we may accurately assess the building's safety.

"There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our students and staff. And as a union, we will continue to fight diligently for exactly that. From legal channels to negotiations, from rallies to the media, we will never stop our pursuit of what our students and educators deserve."


Information Request from PFT Director of Environmental Science Jerry Roseman to District Officials

In order to be able to independently and professionally verify the current and ongoing conditions and status of asbestos and related hazards (associated with construction work that can potentially impact asbestos and occupant health and safety) at Masterman, the following information, documents and reports, must immediately be provided to the PFT.  Documents and materials should be provided in electronic and machine readable formats and forms:

1) Full construction documents including drawings to include work scope, practices, procedures and schedules for all environmental remediation and all other construction activities that can potentially impact asbestos materials in the building.

2) Copies of all asbestos abatement notifications, DDCs, inspection findings, summary reports, remediation work plans etc. related to assessed, remediated and/or in-place asbestos containing materials throughout Masterman from 9/1/2019 - current date.

3) Copies of all asbestos sampling data and testing results (with explanations and details provided sufficient to associate individual testing events with remediation and/or other asbestos abatement or diagnostic work) for all asbestos assessment, remediation, and abatement work conducted at Masterman from 9/1/2019 - current date.

4) Copies of assessments, work plans, documents, sampling/testing results, photographs and other evaluation materials and conclusions related to suspect, and confirmed asbestos containing materials located above drop ceilings throughout the school- this information to include assessment of the dust, dirt, and debris above ceiling tiles throughout the building.

5) Provide a comprehensive list of all asbestos materials identified and/or recommended for remediation (through inspections of all types including AHERA and other) for whatever reason(s) from 9/1/2019 - current date.  Information provided for each listing should at least include:

- specific location of ACM

- date identified and by whom (what type of inspection)

- copy of report

- remediation recommendations including original scope as provided to SDP by assessors

- date work scheduled

- scope of work scheduled

- date work completed (or status/schedule if not completed)

- scope of work completed

This data request constitutes the minimum necessary to assess current conditions at Masterman and should not be necessarily considered as a comprehensive request for information.  To ensure staff and student protection in an ongoing manner throughout the construction project at Masterman, the SDP should work with and include designated PFT representatives as follows:

1) SDP should provide information and data (of the type described above) in an ongoing manner throughout the duration of the construction project.

2) SDP should notify and include PFT representatives in all ongoing asbestos inspection, assessment, evaluation, and testing activities, efforts and initiatives at Masterman.

3) SDP should include/invite PFT participation in/at construction meetings throughout the duration of the project.

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