llinois School District Teachers Settle Drug Testing Strike

School will finally be getting underway in Glasford, Illinois, after the teachers' union and the school board compromised on language requiring drug testing for teachers. Teachers had been on strike since August 17, balking at contract language that would have subjected them to random suspicionless drug testing.

No mandatory random drug tests for Illini Bluff teachers, but they have to pass one drug test first. (Image: ISBD 327)
Under the contract agreement reached last week by the teachers and the Illini Bluffs District 327 Board of Education, current teachers agreed to submit to a single drug test before September 15. Then they may voluntarily join a random drug testing pool that will also include the administration and school board members.

New hires will be treated differently, however. They will be subject to mandatory random drug testing.

As a concession to the district for not agreeing to mandatory random drug testing, the teachers' union accepted a 5% decrease in the percentage the district pays for health insurance in the second and third years of the three-year contract.

According to the Pekin Times, neither side was particularly happy with the agreement. The school district didn't get full mandatory random drug testing, and the union didn't manage to kill drug testing completely.

"I think both sides gave a little bit to get the kids back in school," said Board Chairman Dennis Brown. He added that the reason the board wanting random testing was because it wanted to be "proactive in an issue instead of reactive."

It was the union that brought the idea of teachers taking a simple test to the table. Ray Roskos, field manager for the Illinois Federation of Teachers brought with him to the board meeting an envelope he said contained drug tests results for all the teachers -- all paid for at the union's expense. All were negative.

"It's sad they had to prove their innocence in this instance, but they did and we're happy with the result," Roskos said.

Glasford, IL
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Betrayal!

The union bureaucracy has betrayed the teachers! The fight was to prevent any kind of drug testing not just to limit the testing. Any testing must be rejected. One test for all teachers violates the rights of all. To simply have some put in a pool for random testing while others do not get tested is simply a cover meant to disguise the betrayal that has taken place. I am glad I am not a teacher and particularly do not teach in Illini Bluffs. I would and have refused to take any job that required drug testing. To be homeless, unemployed and dependent on a soup kitchen to get one's meals than work in any job that has drug testing. I say this as an unemployed person who has suffered when I had to refuse the only job being offered me because it had drug testing. Thankfully I am not homeless and I can rely on family to help me out. Drug testing must be forbidden. Nobody should take a job that has drug testing. As for the union leadership they are traitors who have taken the side of management. Both management and the union leadership are enemies of the workers and must be fought. All teachers should reject their leadership and refuse to take the drug tests. It is not just "***". It is our rights being trampled on. If they cannot be defeated let all the teachers resign en masse and show they will not tolerate the drug testing that exists as the violation of our liberties.

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