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For Immediate Release
September 6, 2020

United University Professions President Frederick E. Kowal on SUNY requiring coronavirus surveillance testing on SUNY campuses

What follows is a statement by UUP President Kowal on SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras’ Sept. 4 announcement for SUNY campuses to immediately begin surveillance testing of on-campus populations:

“UUP applauds SUNY for taking the important and necessary step of requiring surveillance testing at all state-operated campuses. We welcome this announcement. In establishing this testing process, Chancellor Malatras is exhibiting the kind of decisive leadership that SUNY needs to keep our students, our staff and our communities safe.

“UUP has been outspoken in its support for mandatory surveillance testing at campuses. In June, UUP outlined guidelines for campus safety that stressed mandatory testing across SUNY. Those recommendations included baseline testing, and ongoing surveillance testing throughout the fall semester. And though SUNY did not undertake the baseline testing we called for, we welcome this decision as urgently necessary to contain the spread of the coronavirus in all campus communities.

“UUP will continue to urge our students, faculty and staff to wear face masks and practice social distancing whenever possible to keep each other safe.

"Additionally, UUP calls on Gov. Cuomo to work with all statewide public sector unions to extend and expand the negotiated telecommuting agreement to help reduce population density on campuses and address severe childcare issues many New Yorkers are facing.

“We look forward to working together with the Chancellor to ensure that SUNY is the engine for positive change in New York.”

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.


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