The State University of New York on Friday informed hundreds of employees they would need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 29 or lose their jobs, according to a memorandum released to workers by the public college and university system.
The move affects about 550 non-union workers who are designated management confidential employees at SUNY administration.
The memorandum comes as more swaths of the state's workforce are facing requirements to be vaccinated, including health care workers with a deadline looming for Monday. Students at SUNY campsues are already under a vaccination requirement.
"We’ve asked nursing students to graduate early and join the frontline of healthcare heroes," wrote Beth Berlin, the chief operating officer of SUNY. "We’ve asked students to play athletic competition without the joy of spectators in the stands. We’ve asked students to quarantine weeks ahead of moving back to campus, isolating them from friends and family. And now we’ve asked them to get vaccinated."
Berlin wrote in the memo to SUNY staff the vaccination mandate is meant to ensure the responsibility of getting vaccinated "doesn't fall solely" on students who are returning to campus this semester.
"Failure to comply with this directive will result in termination," Berlin wrote. "Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Per New York State law, all employees are guaranteed paid leave time to receive COVID-19 vaccinations."
SUNY administration is taking requests for exemptions, which are due by Oct. 1, she wrote.
SUNY campuses reopened for the fall semester, and have since recorded a COVID-19 positive rate of 0.67%, below the statewide average of more than 3%.