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Kansas Prison Union Head Pleased With Efforts To Increase Staff Wages

Michael Coghlan
flickr Creative Commons

The head of the union that represents Kansas state workers says he’s pleased that legislators from both sides of the aisle are calling on Gov. Sam Brownback to order an immediate pay increase for guards at state prisons.

Robert Choromanski had backed an earlier call for a special legislative session. But he says he could also support giving guards an emergency increase now, and then revisiting the issue during the Legislature’s next regular session.

“I would be totally fine with that," Choromanski says. "Then we could negate having the special session."

Recent inmate disturbances at the El Dorado Correctional Facility have drawn attention to staffing shortages, which Choromanski and others say are the result of low-pay and forced overtime.

Jim McLean is managing director of KMUW's Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and KCUR covering health, education and politics in Kansas. Follow him on Twitter @jmcleanks.