COVID Testing Agreement with SUNY

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to inform you that we have reached an agreement with SUNY over the terms for mandatory surveillance testing of campus employees. A summary of the provisions of that agreement is provided below. The full agreement is attached.

We continue to press the Governor’s office for an extension of the telecommuting agreement, and we are making progress there. As for campus testing of students, our pressure at the chapter and statewide levels are having a real impact. It’s clear that campuses are beginning to ramp up testing to increase both the rate of testing and the size of samples to be tested. Our united front on this crucial issue is key to our success — and our members’ health and safety. Thanks to all of you for your diligence and hard work.

Key provisions of the UUP/SUNY agreement on mandatory testing:

The agreement provides that campuses must test employees who are required to report in person to campus for work (whether part or full-time). Testing of UUP-represented employees will be conducted in concert with regular surveillance testing of students on campus.

Campuses must use less invasive tests such as saliva tests, short swab rapid tests, or other short swab tests for mandatory testing. If a campus uses long swab testing employees will not be mandated but may volunteer for testing.

Campuses must consult with UUP chapter representatives on the testing protocols for UUP-represented employees and the campus testing plan and information regarding how samples for testing are constructed, such as the size of pools and the number of employees to be tested shall be provided to UUP chapter representatives.

Testing procedures must ensure that: the identity of individual employees testing remains confidential and is only accessible on a need to know basis; the privacy of employees being tested and the identity of employees who test positive must be protected to the extent possible. Employees must be tested during regular work hours and without cost to the employee. Test results shall not be retained in personnel files or other personnel records and shall not be retained by the campus any longer than is necessary to comply with COVID 19 related public health requirements.

Employees who are quarantined or isolated following a positive test at public health, medical, or campus direction shall be allowed to telecommute to the greatest extent possible. If telecommuting is not possible, the employee shall be permitted to use applicable statutory leaves in accordance with state and federal law and leave accruals as contractually appropriate.

The agreement expires December 31, 2020, subject to possible extension by mutual agreement. View Agreement

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have and I look forward to “seeing” many of you at our regional meetings, starting tomorrow for Western New York.

Stay safe, stay well, and take care…
In Solidarity,