Correctional Officers Frustrated At Big Pay Raises For Wardens

Wisconsin Prison Guards, They Say, Make Less Than Guards In Neighboring States


The president of the union that represents state correctional officers says he’s outraged by the news that six wardens will be getting substantial salary increases.

Information released by the state Department of Corrections (DOC) shows that the six wardens will be getting raises between 3 and ten dollars an hour, which works out to eight to 13 percent. All of them will be making nearly $100,000 a year.

Brian Cunningham, president of the Wisconsin Association for Correctional Law Enforcement, says last fall the department rejected a request from the union to conduct a wage comparison for guards.

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“This is such a big slap in the face, to sit back and have someone say, ‘You know what, be patient, we’ll take care of you,’ while they’re taking care of themselves? I don’t know that hypocrisy and outrage are strong enough words,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham says state prison guards make less than their counterparts in all four states bordering Wisconsin.

A statement emailed from the DOC says the wardens’ salary got boosts to bring them in line with other executive salaries in other state departments.

Prison guards, who make an average of $15/hour, got a one percent pay hike last year. Their take home pay, however, has gone down because of higher insurance and pension premiums.