December 3, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Springfield, IL – Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration announced Nov. 30 that it will begin testing state workers for drug or alcohol use if there is “reasonable suspicion” they’re intoxicated or if someone accuses them of drinking or using drugs.
The administration said it was imposing the testing as part of its “last, best and final offer” to American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31. Contract talks broke down last January after the union rejected that offer, which included a four-year pay freeze and large increases in health costs, and the Rauner administration has since sought the right to impose its terms unilaterally. “They’re trying to distract from their refusal to negotiate,” Council 31 spokesman Anders Lindall responded. “They’re trying to distract from their attempt to force working people to pay 100 percent more for health care. They’re trying to distract from their attempt to cut the pay of public service workers.” Lindall said the union, which represents 38,000 state workers, would challenge any testing in court. Read more