Governor J.B. Pritzker says the work of Illinois government will continue during the COVID-19 outbreak. But changes are coming for many state employees.
With the focus on social distancing to avoid the spread of coronavirus disease, Pritzker said state government has to reconsider how it operates.
“That includes directing some employees to continue to come to the office, moving some to a work from home capacity and making other needed adjustments to work schedules.”
The Governor also said some workers might be told to remain at home and on call. He said all employees will be paid during the period.
More details are expected in the coming days and Pritzker said employees should be hearing from their directors as plans are developed. The Department of Innovation and Technology is involved in making sure government employees are able to conduct business remotely.
The largest state employee union issued a statement in support of the governor’s decision. "Governor Pritzker is right to direct state employees wherever possible to work remotely during this outbreak," said Council 31 Director Roberta Lynch. "The Governor is modeling the behavior that every Illinois employer should follow."
Pritzker also said some government functions could be reduced, but essential operations will continue. Those include prison guards, police and care workers in veterans' homes, disability centers and more.
"It's vitally important they have adequate personal protective equipment, sanitary working conditions and other support and tools they need to do their jobs and stay healthy," Lynch added.