CUNY teachers union sues to delay in-person classes at UES school over air filtration system

Hunter College Campus School
Photo credit Google Street View

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A teachers union is suing to keep a CUNY school on the Upper East Side closed for in-person classes, claiming it still lacks an air filtration system that’s effective against the coronavirus.

The Professional Staff Congress CUNY, a union that represents faculty at the Hunter College Campus School, filed a restraining order in Manhattan Supreme Court in an attempt to delay the start of in-person classes, which are supposed to begin next Tuesday.

Court documents obtained by the New York Post show faculty are concerned the K-12 school hasn’t installed an HEPA air filtration system that can filter out the coronavirus, as the school’s “own Reopening Plan requires.”

In court documents, the union alleges the school has installed “untested air purifiers (not even a filter) whose efficacy against COVID-19 or other viruses is at best unknown.”

The school has so few classrooms with windows that it has been nicknamed the “brick prison,” according to the suit.

The union warned in the suit that “Hunter’s faculty and students will be subject to increased risk of serious illness or death related to (COVID-19) infection if they are forced to return to HCCS without compliance with the Reopening Plan.”

A spokesperson for the school told the Post: “We don’t comment on pending litigation, but we are confident that we have followed the highest health and safety standards.”

“Our students, teachers and staff are our top priority and we have made every effort, and completed extensive work, to provide for a safe reopening of the Hunter Campus Schools,” the spokesperson said.