Chancellor Malatras and UUP President Kowal Announce Agreement to Extend Free, Mandatory COVID-19 Testing for UUP-Represented Employees Through End of the Spring Semester

November 20, 2020

SUNY's MOU with UUP is Available Available Online Here

Albany, NY – State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras and United University Professions (UUP) President Frederick E. Kowal today announced an agreement to extend mandatory, free COVID-19 testing for all UUP-represented employees through the end of the spring semester. In September, SUNY reached agreements with UUP, The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF), and the Police Benevolent Association of New York State (PBANYS) to conduct routine testing of all union-represented employees.

"Testing every person on our campuses has been critical to monitoring and controlling the presence of the virus—something our colleges have done incredibly well this semester," said Chancellor Malatras. "I want to thank UUP President Frederick Kowal for extending our testing agreement through the spring semester and for his continued leadership in helping to protect our campuses. It shows that working together can yield important and meaningful results. Making sure we can continue testing of all individuals on campus—be it students, faculty, or staff—is absolutely critical. We must all share in the sacrifice to keep the virus at bay. Thanks to SUNY Upstate Medical, we have a nation-leading, FDA-approved saliva test at our disposal and the capacity to do 200,000 COVID tests per week. With that robust capacity, there is simply no excuse for not regularly testing every faculty and staff member on our campuses. The stakes are simply too high."

UUP President Kowal said, "On behalf of UUP's 37,000 members, I want to thank Chancellor Malatras for working with us to extend this important agreement, which has been a successful tool in limiting coronavirus spread on SUNY campuses and keeping our students and our members safe. We understand that mandatory surveillance testing of all members of the SUNY community, including the employees we represent, will help to stem the spread of coronavirus. The agreement also includes important provisions protecting our members' privacy and limiting how test samples and results are used. We look forward to working with Chancellor Malatras to continue to ensure the health and wellbeing of our campus communities."

Effective through June 30, 2021, all UUP employees working in-person on campus will be tested regularly for coronavirus. Testing will continue to be free of cost and conducted during regular work hours. UUP employee testing will be done at the same frequency as student testing.

So far this semester, SUNY has conducted 509,903 COVID-19 tests with a positivity rate of 0.50 percent. All students utilizing SUNY's 64 colleges and universities must test for COVID-19 prior to Thanksgiving break. All returning students will be required to submit to tests ahead of the spring semester.

About United University Professions

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY's public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York 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 state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 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 2021, 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 opportunity, visit

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