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*** UPDATED x1 - AFSCME vows court challenge ***Rauner imposes “reasonable” drug and alcohol testing on workers

Wednesday, Nov 30, 2016

* Press release…

Rauner Administration to Implement Reasonable Suspicion of Alcohol and Drug Testing

Governor Bruce Rauner’s Administration today announced that the state will begin testing employees who exhibit behaviors that create a reasonable suspicion that they are under the influence of a banned substance or alcohol.

“Employees who are under the influence of a banned substance or alcohol while on the job present a risk to their co-workers and to the taxpayers they serve,” said Dennis Murashko, the Governor’s General Counsel. “Being impaired also prevents employees from being able to perform their job duties effectively. By implementing this commonsense proposal, we are taking the necessary steps to further protect the health and safety of our employees and those they serve.”

The proposal, which was part of the state’s last, best and final offer during contract negotiations, does not allow for random drug and alcohol testing. Rather, it only allows the state to test employees if “specific objective facts and circumstances warrant rational inferences that a person may be under the influence of alcohol or a banned substance.”

Those “facts and circumstances” include:

    · Observable phenomena such as direct observation of use or the physical symptoms of using or being under the influence of controlled substances such as, but not limited to: slurred speech, direct involvement in a serious accident, or disorientation;
    · A pattern of abnormal conduct or erratic behavior; and,
    · Information provided either by reliable and credible sources or which is independently corroborated.

Guidance will be provided to supervisors on what types of behavior create a reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence of alcohol or a banned substance. Generally, employees that test positively for intoxication will be suspended for 30 days and will be enrolled in a confidential Employee Assistance Program for substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation. All records concerning tests would remain confidential.

* Meanwhile…


*** UPDATE ***  AFSCME’s response to the governor’s move

“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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

71 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    Let’s start in the Capitol and Stratton buildings.


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:06 am:

    No worries — just find one of the many Dr. Feelgood pill-pushers who will write a script for Adderall or Oxy.

    That’s the good stuff, anyway — better than any “banned” meth or smack you’ll find on the street.


  3. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:07 am:

    “·A pattern of abnormal conduct or erratic behavior…”

    Have the gov. tested pronto!


  4. - RNUG - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:07 am:

    Rauner continues co-opting popular actions. AFSCME will again lose the PR battle if they object to it.


  5. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:09 am:

    “·A pattern of abnormal conduct or erratic behavior…”

    Better not get near LRB on deadline week or no one will be left.


  6. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:09 am:

    I’m guessing 35 legislators from both parties means 34 Democrats and Sam McCann


  7. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:10 am:

    ===means 34 Democrats and Sam McCann ===

    lol

    My guess too.


  8. - morningstar - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    Does the Governor *need* to provide more reasons for lawsuits against the State?


  9. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:12 am:

    Even as a navy chaplain I had to report to the head to have a chief watch me pee in a cup. I have no problems with this. More than fine with this.


  10. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:13 am:

    –“·A pattern of abnormal conduct or erratic behavior…”–

    I take it this won’t apply to the Governor, his Superstars or the General Assembly.

    They’d be filling cups like Starbucks, all day, every day.


  11. - Piece of Work - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    Is this the same table that MJM finds difficult to locate??


  12. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    May I respectfully ask why the 35 legislators is on this post? I would appreciate it being a separate topic.


  13. - d.p.gumby - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    When does Brucie take his test…he’s been acting under the influence of something since the inaugural!


  14. - Moby - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    I have no problem with targeted drug testing of employees as long as the policy provides for an automatic and immediate $1,000 bonus to any employee who tests negative for the suspected
    drug(s)/alcohol. This will make the required “evidence” more objective/concrete.


  15. - Tommydanger - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    Better start your own blog then Honeybear, ;)


  16. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:30 am:

    What Tommydanger said :)


  17. - Mr.Black - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    Honeybear, on the surface this sounds great, but this is a rule that no governor or legislator would agree to impose on themselves.

    If they want drug testing, ok. But for everyone from the top down (that would never get passed).


  18. - Thoughts Matter - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:35 am:

    I have no problem with reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing.

    As to the 35 legislators, where are those infamous 7 that wrote
    that letter? It’s their constituents that would be most affected by the loss of paychecks. Tim Butler - where are you?


  19. - Like Water for Chocolate - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:39 am:

    Alcohol and Drugs should be seperate. This is a good policy for alcohol because being drunk is fairly obvious. Selective drug testing is known to be discrimitory and used as a device for management to harass employees they dont like so while im sure this will be a PR hit, im not sure its good policy.


  20. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:46 am:

    Tommydanger I was very intensional with my request. I used “respectfully” and “appreciate”.

    I am facing a strike soon and the topic is super important to me. It is not an “academic” interest. It pertains directly to my livelihood. It is Rich’s blog and I don’t believe that I have ever challenged that. I realize now that I should have emailed my request and realize that my public request could be interpreted as passive aggressive. I apologize. It was not my intent. The subject is the most important thing to me. I naturally wanted the opinions of those I trust the most.


  21. - Signal and Noise - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    Other “facts and circumstances” include:

    Demanding fair wages
    Expectation of basic worker protections
    Assumption of retirement benefits


  22. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:52 am:

    The last best final offer gives a 30 day suspension for alcohol intoxication. Immediate dismissal if you fail a drig test. No treatment. No second chance.


  23. - DHSJim - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    Hopefully we’ll be facing a strike soon Honeybear. Hopefully AFCSME members don’t accept Rauner’s terms.


  24. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:04 pm:

    ==Hopefully we’ll be facing a strike soon Honeybear. ==

    Who in their right mind hopes for a strike?


  25. - Allen D - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:07 pm:

    I for one really do not this there will be a strike… everyone I work with is more content with accepting the offer that thee is…. if anything else gets negotiated in the Unions favor all the better. I for one, as most of you know, support the Governor’s agenda with the unions, and yes for those of you that do not know I am a state worker and full union member. lets just get this done, get a contract, get a budget, and get to moving IL forward.


  26. - DHSJim - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:10 pm:

    Striking wouldn’t be my first option. I don’t want to strike. But if it comes between striking or accepting Rauner’s disastrous terms, I’ll choose to strike.


  27. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    ==more content==

    Nobody is content with it. But I too can say that those I work with have resigned themselves to the reality of the situation and aren’t in any mood to strike. I’m guessing 90+% of them will cross the lines if there is a strike. Which is why AFSCME needs to be very careful. If they have a strike and massive amounts of members cross the lines then that gives the Governor ultimate ammunition against them because he can then say that even the members don’t support their union.


  28. - DHSJim - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:19 pm:

    I hope you’re wrong about that Demoralized. Rauner has proven by his actions to be a bully. You never give in to a bully if you want the abuse to stop.


  29. - Allen D - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:23 pm:

    - DHSJim - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:19 pm
    He (RAUNER) isn’t a Bully, he is correct in what he is doing for IL to survive.


  30. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    “Rauner continues co-opting popular actions. AFSCME will again lose the PR battle if they object to it.”

    With respect, how do you know AFSCME has been losing the PR battle? If you have them, can you please post polls or other data to back up your statement?

    I believe this is objectionable. The workers won’t even get one chance to get help and keep their jobs. This is not in the spirit of the reforms we need. It’s not even in the spirit of the contract, in which discipline should be progressive and corrective.

    Many for example are working toward criminal justice reform, including Rauner. Many don’t want to see people being incarcerated for low-level drug offenses and want to help people heal and become productive.


  31. - DHSJim - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:28 pm:

    So subcontracting my job is correct for Illinois? Selling off public assets to private interests so they could profit by squeezing labor is right? A guy who makes $183 million a year telling me who makes $50k that I need to sacrifice is right for Illinois? We live in 2 separate moral universes Allen D.


  32. - titan - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:31 pm:

    The treatment is “confidential” but there is a 30 day suspension? If any employee is such that no one is going to notice him/her being gone for 30 days, that might be a job that should be eliminated.


  33. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:32 pm:

    Oops, my bad. I didn’t read this part of the thread:

    “Generally, employees that test positively for intoxication will be suspended for 30 days and will be enrolled in a confidential Employee Assistance Program for substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation.”

    This is different that the last, best and final offer, in which those who test positive for drugs or refuse to test will get fired. So they’ll get at least one chance for rehab, I wonder?


  34. - Federalist - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    Fine. but should apply to the state elected officials,legislators and their staffs also.


  35. - AnonAnon - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:43 pm:

    AFSCME 31 has a very interesting article/story posted on their website in reference to what Rauner is really trying to accomplish. Most of us already knew, but to have it laid out in such a manner is quite interesting. I would love Mr. Miller to do some digging on the information provided in the documents. I will add that I am not a member of AFSCME, but thought this information would be appreciated here.

    http://m.afscme31.org/news/internal-rauner-documents-reveal-anti-union-strategy


  36. - Allen D - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 12:44 pm:

    - DHSJim
    The State cannot demand that the people we serve keep forking over more and more money that is mismanaged day and day again… job for job, nearly every state position is the highest paid and highest benefits in the 50 states, some job for job in the private sector more than double the pay and if you through in the pension (which most private sector jobs do not have) you can probably triple


  37. - DHSJim - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    Allen D, Brownback tried the same union busting austerity strategy in Kansas. Not working so well for them. Similar story in Wisconsin. Hasn’t led to greater efficiency but the opposite. Also Illinois has one of the smallest work forces in State government in the nation. Salaries/benefits account for only 6 % of budget, also one of the smallest in the nation.


  38. - DHSJim - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 1:08 pm:

    Thanks for sharing Anon. This is why AFSCME members must vote to strike and get the public on their side. If Rauner wins this battle, the rest of the labor movement will be adversely affected. We must stand up for ourselves and fight for our livliehood. No other legitimate choice.


  39. - State Worker THX 1138 - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    I have zero issues with this. I was really surprised it wa not part of the employment screening process. Why would AFCSME oppose it? Because it isn’t mandatory from the top down, starting with Rauner?


  40. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 1:13 pm:

    Does BigBrain and SuperStars get a test? Their general behavior has been pretty nutty


  41. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 1:15 pm:

    ===really surprised it wa not part of the employment screening process===

    People shouldn’t be fired for smoking weed in their own living rooms after working hours.


  42. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    That being said, I believe marijuana should be legalized and taxed. THAT would totally help the state.


  43. - Present - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 1:37 pm:

    That’s fine. Next fat people pay more for ins. You aren’t fat you say? Its not for you to determine.


  44. - Mason born - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 1:43 pm:

    Rich 1:15

    Kind of disagree w that one. As long as it’s illegal not unreasonable to expect employees to abstain. That said perfectly, OK with Legalization.


  45. - Seymourkid - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 1:54 pm:

    How is BVR planning on paying for all of these tests? With the massive amounts of the money he saves by implementing term limits?


  46. - Rocky Rosi - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 1:55 pm:

    All public workers and elected officials should have 4 drug test per year. Period.


  47. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    “All public workers and elected officials should have 4 drug test per year. Period.”

    Why stop there?!? All drivers who use public roads should have 4 drug tests a year. In fact, let’s just drug test everybody!! Nothing is more American than the presumption of guilt right?


  48. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 2:17 pm:

    To the update -

    And the AFSCME PR machine swings and misses again. It would be better if they just shut up and not said anything because each time they speak out against one of these things they provide the Governor with further ammunition for his claims that the union was not being reasonable.


  49. - Thoughts Matter - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 2:28 pm:

    AFSCME - this is not the battle you want to fight. Both my husband( private sector) and I have reasonable suspicion testing in our union contracts. His, in fact, has random drug testing. I don’t think your responsibility to protect your members extends to those who come to work impaired thru the use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or misuse of prescription drugs. Leave this one alone.


  50. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 2:29 pm:

    With respect, how do you know AFSCME has been losing the PR battle? If you have them, can you please post polls or other data to back up your statement?

    Here you go:

    99th District
    Jimenez 64%
    DelGiorno 36%


  51. - HangingOn - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 2:30 pm:

    The only thing that bothers me with this are the false positives. My antidepressant alone could pop positive for amphetamines. Naproxen can cause a THC positive result. There are tons of OTC meds that can show up as something else.

    Plus, I’d have to give up my Poppyseed salad dressing. :(


  52. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 2:35 pm:

    Was this part of the Governors bargaining position back in January, when he walked away from the negotiations and declared an impasse?

    If not then he is proposing new positions, wouldn’t that indicate that there is movement and that there is no impasse?


  53. - Cindy Lou - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 2:36 pm:

    Meh, pee’d every time the SUV pulled into site. Pee and breath analyzing. Nothing new. Title called for it. Now so can everybody else *shrugs*


  54. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 2:41 pm:

    I had to submit to urine tests when I worked for a packing plant, a gym, a hospital and a factory. Anheuser-Busch - which at one point was one of the best companies to work for in the bi-state area - took hair samples for drug and alcohol testing. AFSCME needs to be careful and not make a mountain out of a molehill about everything.


  55. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 2:42 pm:

    “It would be better if they just shut up and not said anything because each time they speak out against one of these things they provide the Governor with further ammunition for his claims that the union was not being reasonable.”

    Maybe, but it’s rather on the level of a would-be rapist telling his unwilling victim that she’s not being reasonable.


  56. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 2:43 pm:

    @Rich 1:15 I’ve had jobs where drug and alcohol screening were part of the terms of employment. Don’t like it, don’t accept the position. How do you implement it going forward when you already have 38,000 employees? Tier 3? /s That said, I also have zero issues legalizing marijuana and then taxing ihe heck out of it.


  57. - d.p.gumby - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 3:27 pm:

    Why not just say “probably cause” instead of trying to make up a new standard?


  58. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 3:29 pm:

    “Was this part of the Governors bargaining position back in January, when he walked away from the negotiations and declared an impasse?”

    Apparently not. There was no 30-day suspension and EAP for a first drug violation. First time offenders for drug use would get fired. It looks like Rauner pulled a bait and switch.

    I generally have no problem with the employer screening for drugs. It’s the draconian treatment of the least worst example of a first time offender that troubles me. Unless the offense is egregious, workers should get at least one chance at rehab.


  59. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 3:39 pm:

    Here we go…for those who operate machinery or drive a state vehicle for a living: yes…

    For everyone else there’s the Employees Assistance Program..

    This policy is de riguer in the private sector…


  60. - Captain Illini - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 3:57 pm:

    As far as this “new” proposal from the Governor…uh, he should read some agency policy manuals that already have just about the same language in them stating an employee can be tested if he/she exhibits or had reasonable cause to have tested due to alcohol or substances.

    Meh…

    Plus many thousand employees are subject to random testing due to the drivers’ license they hold, or the type of job that requires testing.

    Meh #2…


  61. - Liberty - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 4:04 pm:

    Just shows how out of touch the union is even compared to other public employer such as universities.

    Federal employees and those on federal grants have mandatory drug testing.


  62. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    I guess a number of y’all haven’t served in the military (recently-pretty sure the old man didn’t pee in a cup after dropping bombs on the Germans in WWII) worked in manufacturing, been a cop or bus driver, blah blah blah.

    This requirement is reasonable and not at all unusual. Heck, many employers require them of job applicants. I’ve taken them twice in that context. Flunked one hard. Migraine meds.


  63. - Mama - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 4:56 pm:

    AFSCME better make sure they don’t use those faulty road-side drug test kits the troopers, sheriffs and the police use.


  64. - Mama - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 4:58 pm:

    If I were AFSCME, I would tell Governor Rauner the union will not take the drug & alcohol test unless, his Superstars, the General Assembly and he takes the same test, and receive the same punishment as the union members.


  65. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 6:04 pm:

    ==- HangingOn - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 2:30 pm: ==

    Excellent points. How will false positives be proven by the employee or handled by the admin?


  66. - Mama - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 6:18 pm:

    1. Can someone please tell me if AFSCME’s old contract still in affect.

    2. Will AFSCME’s old contract expire when the Labor Board’s written findings are filed?

    Thank you


  67. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 8:46 pm:

    “The governor is demanding that the legislative leaders join him at a bargaining table every day to discuss his agenda and its impact on our state budget. I would hope that he would hold himself to the same standard in negotiating with the union and return to the bargaining table immediately.” — Senator Harmon.

    That is an Oak Park mic drop.


  68. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 8:57 pm:

    –“The governor is demanding that the legislative leaders join him at a bargaining table every day to discuss his agenda and its impact on our state budget. –

    After nearly two years, is there anyone in the state media who will take the governor up on this?

    What is the impact of the governor’s agenda on the state budget?

    Remember, budgets are communicated in numbers, not nonsensical weasel-words.

    How is is possible that media members can write the phrase “budget impasse” for nearly two years without ever typing a number?


  69. - Johnnie F. - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 9:59 pm:

    There is little sense for AFSCME to object to every single


  70. - Johnnie F. - Wednesday, Nov 30, 16 @ 10:25 pm:

    There is little sense for AFSCME to object to each individual item Rauner wants to implement. AFSCME has already said they object to the entire forced contract, and will be pursuing the matter “in total” in court. I just don’t see a big PR campaign to be won here. Most people in the state simply will not get in the weeds enough to understand the impasse issue from the state employee’s perspective. Many understand that government is not functioning properly, and that is is not just a matter of greedy union employees.


  71. - Honeybear - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 7:36 am:

    Mama, that is my understanding.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Zenefits introduces level-funded insurance plans and more mobile updates
* OnePlus 5 may or may not offer four color choices, including ‘unicorn’, this summer
* Pay-to-View 'Amazon Channels' Come to Prime Members in the U.K. and Germany
* AT&T will launch LTE-capable Samsung Gear S3 classic on May 26 starting at $250
* Chinese trio carve up a quarter of global smartphone sales in Q1: Gartner
* Apple in Talks With India State Officials to Expand iPhone Production Capacity
* Nokia and Apple agree to bury the patent hatchet… again, signing new ‘multi-year’ license

* White Sox can't solve Greinke in opening loss
* Covey seeks first win vs. Corbin, D-backs
* Gonzalez sees positives despite 5th straight L
* Diamondbacks 5, White Sox 1: Too much Zack Greinke
* White Sox can't solve Greinke in opening loss
* Moncada in Chicago for checkup on thumb
* Rodon frustrated but 'close to normal' in rehab


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