Wis. appeals court rules on jailers in unions

Published On: Jul 27 2013 04:59:21 PM CDT
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

A Wisconsin appeals court ruling has made it a little tougher to deny union rights to jail workers.

The court ruled Friday the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission and Douglas County were wrong to declare 36 jail workers ineligible for full union membership because they don't all have arrest powers.

Counties have been changing jail employees' job classifications to take away their ability to remain in public safety labor unions that can bargain freely over pay and working conditions. In 2011, the state all but stripped public employees of union rights, except for public safety personnel.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports officials in 11 other counties are forging ahead with plans to reclassify jailers out of their bargaining units. The counties want to remove the jailers' "protective occupation" status.