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Lawmakers want answers about state's prison system, guard union plan


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin lawmakers want to learn more Wednesday about what’s going on in the state’s prison system, and a plan by guards to start their own union.

Corrections Department Secretary Ed Wall and other agency officials will speak an informational hearing put on by the Assembly corrections’ panel.

Marty Beil, head of the Wisconsin State Employees’ Union, is also scheduled to appear.

Last summer, guards at two Waupun men’s prisons and the Taycheedah women’s prison voted to break apart from the State Employees Union – which has represented them for decades.

The leader of the proposed new union said the concerns of correctional workers have been lost under the larger umbrella of the State Employees’ Union – and the new limits on collective bargaining have resulted in a lot less communication between guards and bosses, affecting employee safety.

Beil denies giving prison workers the short shrift, saying they’ve been represented well for decades.