Friday, July 19, 2013

7-22-13 correctional officers vote for new representation

The head of a new union representing prison guards says he’s pleased with a vote to drop
membership in the once-powerful Wisconsin State Employees Union but concerned about the low number of officers who actually voted.  The Wisconsin Association for Correctional Law Enforcement will represent the state's 5,900 security and public safety workers.  Brian Cunningham tells AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program the new union will soon need to recertify under a provision in the law that requires annual approval by 51 percent of members.  "I think what people should take away from the statistics are that there's a lot of apathy out there.  That's less than half of the bargaining unit that voted one way or another,"  Cunningham said.  "I think its that apathy that's going to be our biggest overcome in the future."  About 22,000 members belonged to the WSEU before a 2011 state law ended collective bargaining for most state employees and made union membership optional. WSEU membership has since dropped below 10,000 members. Cunningham says he expects WSEU will challenge the vote in court.

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