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NEW INFORMATION: Wis prison, union heads clash over conditions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The head of the state employees union tells an Assembly Committee that safety at Wisconsin's prisons has deteriorated since workers there lost their ability to collective bargain.

Marty Beil (BEEL) told the committee Wednesday that staffing shortages have also led to increased stress on workers who are there and created an unsafe environment. He says six workers have been assaulted by inmates since Christmas Eve.

But Corrections Secretary Ed Wall says none of the people in any of those incidents were admitted to the hospital. He says he couldn't discuss them in more detail because of health privacy laws.

Beil says the Wisconsin State Employees Union represents about 1,800 Corrections workers. Prison guards have been organizing an effort to separate from the WSEU and form their own union.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and the head of the state employees union are both scheduled to testify before an Assembly Committee on Wednesday.

Corrections Secretary Ed Wall and a number of other officials from his department are scheduled to be at the informational hearing. Wall and the others are scheduled to provide an overview of the agency for members of the Assembly's Corrections Committee.

Marty Beil, head of the Wisconsin State Employee Unions which represents prison guards, is also scheduled to speak.

Prison guards have been organizing an effort to separate from the WSEU and form their own union. The guards leaders have been engaged in bitter fights over election setbacks, discontent with labor leaders and anger over working conditions.


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