ISP union says some state troopers have not been paid as promised

SPRINGFIELD — The governor and comptroller are letting everyone know that all state employees are being paid, but about 500 Illinois State Police troopers missed their payday Wednesday.

Steve Clemente, president of Troopers Lodge 41, which counts about 1,400 troopers, agents, and sergeants in the ISP as members, says the story from the comptroller’s office, through the State Police, is that, for the affected troopers, someone entered a code in the computer for the current fiscal year, a code not backed by an appropriation, given the current budget stalemate.

A spokesman for the comptroller’s office also attributed the problem to employees on direct deposit having changed banks recently. But the spokesman, Rich Carter, said there are no reports of departments other than the State Police being affected.

“Nobody wants to run into a police officer that’s in a bad mood,” said Clemente, “but we’re all professionals, and we have been assured that our (paper) paychecks are on their way to make all our members whole.”

Still, the climate in Illinois makes the mistake particularly unwelcome to state workers represented by a union under a new governor who has said he wants to curtail collective bargaining.

“He said we deserved a better pension, or that our pension should be whole,” said Clemente, “and then he turns around and comes up with this new pension plan that absolutely says nothing about protecting what police officers have earned.”