Chancellor Malatras and CSEA President Sullivan Announce Agreement to Conduct Free, Mandatory COVID-19 Testing of CSEA-Represented Employees at SUNY’s State-Operated Colleges, Universities, and Hospitals

September 24, 2020

Agreement Follows Deal to Conduct Mandatory Testing of UUP-Represented Faculty Members

Expanded Employee Testing Done in Concert with Aggressive Pooled Surveillance Testing of Students Across SUNY

Albany, NY – State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras and Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) President Mary E. Sullivan today announced an agreement to conduct free, mandatory testing for CSEA-represented employees at SUNY state-operated colleges, universities, and hospitals. The agreement comes on the heels of a similar deal struck last week that requires mandatory COVID-19 testing for all employees represented by United University Professions (UUP).

"Testing employees is crucial to protecting the health and safety of our campus communities and avoiding major outbreaks," said Chancellor Malatras. "SUNY's CSEA workforce have been on the frontlines of the COVID crisis from the very beginning, doing everything from keeping our facilities clean to getting students their meals safely—work that is fundamental to keeping our campuses open during this challenging time. They deserve access to the same testing being offered to students and faculty members. I want to thank President Sullivan and the entire CSEA membership for all that they do. Thanks to groundbreaking advancements at Upstate Medical—and a close partnership with CSEA—SUNY can now provide employees the regular testing they deserve."

Civil Service Employee Union President Sullivan said, "We want to ensure safe operations are maintained at all SUNY campuses, not only for the workers but the entire campus community. This agreement prioritizes testing to protect the workers we represent, and we hope it will have the additional benefit of keeping campuses open and people working."

Effective immediately and continuing through December 31, 2020, all CSEA employees at state-operated universities, colleges, and hospitals working in-person on campus will be tested regularly for coronavirus. Testing will be free of cost and conducted during regular work hours. Campuses will work with local CSEA representatives to develop their respective employee testing protocols. CSEA employee testing will be done at the same frequency as student testing.

SUNY currently has the capacity to process 120,000 test samples per week thanks to major testing breakthroughs at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Their now FDA-approved individual saliva test, done in tandem with aggressive pooled surveillance testing, allows colleges to quickly and accurately pinpoint and contain the virus and prevent outbreaks.

About the Civil Service Employees Association

The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) is one of the largest and most influential unions in New York and the United States. CSEA represents more than 275,000 members who work for state and local governments, school districts, library systems, childcare, and the private sector. Formed in 1910, CSEA continues to improve the lives of hardworking families by negotiating fair and decent collective bargaining agreements. CSEA is the largest affiliate of our International Union, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). For more information, go to

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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