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Tuesday - July 10, 2018 5:57 am

Record high overtime costs show need for filling positions in Wisconsin prisons

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Wisconsin is spending millions of dollars to try to lure people to move to Wisconsin and get a job. The ad campaign is largely targeting Illinois, telling would-be Wisconsinites how great a place this is to live and work. Perhaps the ads could even offer specific jobs, in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. The Corrections department has been dealing with staff shortages for several years. And that shortage has gotten so bad, that some prison employees are breaking the bank by racking up overtime. Correction worker Bradley Thiede worked an average of 95 hours per week in the year before he retired. He made a salary of $175,000, much of it in overtime. That salary was more than the warden at the prison where he worked, even more than the Secretary of the Department of Corrections, and more than the Governor. He volunteered to work all those hours, because in addition to boosting his salary, it also boosted his pension for which he will receive for the rest of his life. But is it a good idea for someone to work that much? Particularly while working in a prison, where fatigue could make safety an issue. The Corrections department spent a record $42 million on overtime just last year because of all the vacancies. Wisconsin should work to fill those vacancies, to save taxpayers overtime costs, and to ensure our prisons aren't being staffed by sleepy guards.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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