Prison guards break from State Employees Union

Prison guards have voted to drop membership in the once-powerful Wisconsin State Employees Union and join a newly-formed labor organization.

The Wisconsin Association for Correctional Law Enforcement will represent the state’s 5,900 security and public safety workers.

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.

The new union will soon need to recertify under a provision of the law that requires annual approval by 51 percent of members. The head of the new union, Brian Cunningham, tells the State Journal he expects WSEU will challenge the vote in court.