Chancellor Malatras and NYSCOPBA Vice President Harmon Reach Deal to Provide Free, Mandatory COVID-19 Surveillance Testing for NYSCOPBA-Represented Employees at SUNY Campuses

January 8, 2021

SUNY has Agreements with All its Major Represented Unions Following Similar Mandatory Testing MOUs with UUP, CSEA, PEF, and PBA

Read the full NYSCOPBA COVID-19 Testing MOU for 2021

Albany, NY – State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras and NYSCOPBA Law Enforcement Vice President John Harmon today announced that SUNY and NYSCOPBA have reached a deal to provide free, mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing for all NYSCOPBA-represented security service employees. SUNY now has agreements with all its major represented unions following similar testing memorandums of understanding with UUP, CSEA, PEF, and PBA.

"With the spring semester approaching, this brutal winter wave of coronavirus continues to shatter records and claim thousands of lives each and every day," said Chancellor Malatras. "Required, routine surveillance testing for every person on our campuses is imperative to keeping our colleges and surrounding communities safe as we bring students back. I want to thank NYSCOPBA Vice President Harmon and the leaders of the other major employee unions who have signed testing agreements. Their diligence and partnership will ensure that we can monitor and contain the virus throughout the semester."

John Harmon, Law Enforcement Vice President for NYSCOPBA, said, "Systematic and continuous COVID testing is vital in order to ensure that SUNY campuses are safe, not only for the thousands of students and faculty members, but also for the dedicated state employees who keep these campuses safe. NYSCOPBA is pleased to have come to an agreement with Chancellor Malatras to offer continued free testing through the spring of 2021 to NYSCOPBA members who work at the SUNY campuses. We are thankful to Chancellor Malatras for working with NYSCOPBA, and for recognizing the need to protect my members."

Effective immediately and continuing through June 30, 2021, all state operated colleges, universities, and hospitals will conduct testing of NYSCOPBA Security Service Unit (SSU) employees who are required to report in-person to campuses for any part of their work obligation. SUNY currently has 274 NYSCOPBA-backed employees spanning 25 campuses.

SUNY launched a robust surveillance testing program for students, faculty, and staff at the beginning of the fall semester. To date, SUNY has conducted more than 669,000 tests with a positivity rate of 0.57 percent.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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