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Contact: Rob Merrill,

ALBANY, N.Y. – PEF members working at SUNY hospitals, colleges and universities will continue to receive free, mandatory COVID-19 testing through the spring semester after the union reached an agreement with SUNY to extend a prior agreement.

“Throughout this pandemic, PEF’s primary concern has been the health and safety of the workers we represent,” said PEF President Wayne Spence. “Extending mandatory testing for our members working at state universities is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 on campuses. Combined with social distancing and masks, testing allows PEF members in the SUNY system to continue safely doing the mission-critical work they’ve done since March.”

Effective through June 30, 2021, all state-operated colleges, universities, and hospitals will conduct testing of Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Unit (PS&T) employees who are required to report in person to campus to conduct some or all of their work obligation. Testing will be free of cost and conducted during regular work hours. Campuses will work with their local PEF council representatives in development of the testing protocol and testing will be done at the same frequency as with students, faculty, and staff.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, SUNY’s PEF-represented employees have been instrumental in the battle against COVID, with many working on the frontlines at our university hospitals,” said SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras. “Our university frontline workers are heroes, and the least we can do is provide them with free, routine testing for COVID-19.”

The preexisting agreement was set to expire on December 31, 2020.

This semester SUNY has conducted 557,999 COVID-19 tests with a positivity rate of 0.52 percent. Most SUNY students are finishing classes and finals remotely. All returning students will be required to submit to tests ahead of the spring semester.

Read SUNY’s MOU with PEF here.