MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The new head of Wisconsin’s prison system will not respond to questions from the state’s largest employees union, because the group is no longer legally recognized.
Marty Beil of the Wisconsin State Employees Union wrote to Corrections’ Secretary Ed Wall, asking when prison workers will be ordered to work overtime – and when seniority-based pay will begin.
But the union chose not to be recertified two years ago, after the governor and Legislature adopted the law which virtually ended most public union bargaining. And corrections’ spokeswoman Jackie Guthrie said that because the union is not certified, Wall does not have to answer its questions.
Beil said the questions came from Wall’s prison employees – and the department prefers to, “stonewall rather than answer some simple questions.” And he said it’s unfortunate, noting that his group had a 60-year relationship with the corrections’ agency which began before the state even had a collective bargaining law.
Beil wrote his letter about a week after he told state lawmakers that Wisconsin prisons have become less safe since the union law. He said it led to the assaults of 7 guards since Christmas Eve alone.