FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 10, 2021
Statement by United University Professions President Frederick E. Kowal on priority COVID-19 vaccinations for all SUNY on-campus employees
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our members on the job, which is why UUP fought so diligently to ensure that all employees working in-person on campus be eligible for priority COVID-19 vaccinations. With the governor’s March 9 announcement, that is now the case.
“For months, UUP worked closely with SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, state legislators and our union colleagues to extend priority vaccinations to include not only in-class faculty and instructors, but all on-campus employees who work with students and the public. Those essential employees include residential life directors, counselors, instructional support staff, librarians, financial aid staff, researchers and other similar positions.
“Last week, I sent a letter to the governor demanding that he grant vaccine eligibility to all on-campus employees. And nearly 4,000 people, most of them UUP members, signed a UUP petition calling on the governor to clear all SUNY employees working on campus for priority vaccinations.
“While we believe this situation should have been resolved months ago, we are grateful that all on-campus workers can be vaccinated effective immediately. Without UUP’s intervention, I am firmly convinced that these dedicated workers would still be ineligible for vaccinations to protect them from COVID-19.
“UUP will always do all it can to protect our members and ensure their safety on the job.” 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.