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Nebraska Prison Guards Switch From AFSCME to Police Union

July 28, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

LINCOLN, Neb.—State prison and security workers voted overwhelmingly July 19 to switch their union from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ state affiliate to the Fraternal Order of Police. The vote was 510-47 to join the newly formed FOP Lodge 88. “The goals are simple: make our workplaces safe, make our jobs places that people want to make their careers,” Local 88 President Mike Chipman, a caseworker at the Community Corrections Center in Omaha, told the Scottsbluff StarHerald. He said the new union’s members, who work in state prisons, youth rehabilitation centers, and the state capitol, hoped that they would do better with a law-enforcement union than with one that represented several different kinds of state employees. “Solving the staffing crisis in corrections must be the first order of business,” he said. Nebraska’s overcrowded prisons have seen two deadly riots in the past three years, and many guards have left to work in county jails, where they get better pay, longevity increases, and no mandatory 16-hour overtime shifts. Negotiations for the about 1,600 workers’ 2019-21 contract will begin in September. Read more

July 28, 2018

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