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AFSCME Cool Toward Rauner's Plan To Drug-Test Some State Employees

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Rauner administration has announced plans to begin testing state employees for drug or alcohol use if it appears they're under the influence while on the job.

In a news release issued Wednesday, the Rauner administration said it had included the alcohol and drug testing policy in its last contract offer to state workers when talks with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees broke down last January.

Under the plan, the state would test workers who appear under the influence, who are acting erratically, or when someone reports to supervisors the employees have been drinking or taking drugs.

"They're trying to distract from their refusal to negotiate. 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," AFSCME Council 31 spokesman Anders Lindall said.

Lindall said AFSCME – which represents 38,000 state workers – would challenge in court any attempt to carry out the drug and alcohol testing policy.

"The Rauner administration broke off negotiations and walked away from the bargaining table back in January, and has wasted more than 10 months in refusing to even meet with our union bargaining committee. If they want to address this issue or any other issue, they should renew negotiations," he said.

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