Illini Bluffs School District 327 teachers remain on strike over the school board’s demand that random drug testing of union members be included in a new three-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA), says the Peoria Journal Star. “We’re willing to meet any time, day or night, to get this issue resolved,” said Keith Brown, lead negotiator for the Illini Bluffs Federation of Teachers. “We really have no idea why the board would take this hardline stand on drug testing other than it is some kind of power play on their part.” The union has agreed to submit to drug tests if the administration can show probable cause.
The union called the district’s replacement teacher plan a failure. “The board initially announced school would be closed for three days and then they would try to open the buildings with strike breakers,” said Dave Comerford, the media director for the Illinois Federation of Teachers. “They have failed because more than half of the district’s parents have called in and refused to send their children to school without their real teachers. We have also heard they are having difficulty finding substitutes who are willing to go along with their scheme to open the buildings.”
Source: Peoria Journal Star, 8/22/11, By Scott Hilyard
[Editor's Note: In February 2011, Legal Clips summarized the decision in Smith Cnty. Educ. Ass'n v. Smith Cnty. Bd. of Educ., in which a federal district court in Tennessee ruled that a school board’s policy subjecting teachers to random drug testing violates teachers’ Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches because it lacks proper notice and is unreasonably implemented. The court declined to rule that random drug testing of teachers is unconstitutional per se.]