11/9/17 – State Representative Mark Born has authored a bill that would give protected status to county jailers. Protected status is a state employment classification given to workers in high-risk professions. In some cases, as with law enforcement, employees are not subject to Act 10, which stripped most collective bargaining rights and requires a greater contribution toward pensions and health insurance. State Corrections officers have protected status but are subject to the rules of Act 10. Born’s bill would give county jailers benefits similar to state prison workers. That includes the ability to retire earlier and duty disability insurance, which is difficult for those in high-risk jobs to obtain in the open marketplace. The county jailers would be subject to Act 10. The topic has been up for discussion for several years. Born, who worked in the Dodge County jail system prior to working in the legislature, told us recently on WBEV’s Community Comment that all parties involved are nearing an agreement. He says a compromise is on the horizon that should satisfy both the interests of law enforcement and those on the county level; no word yet on union support but Born is optimistic. The Beaver Dam Republican tells us that the bill has picked up several co-sponsors and he says a hearing is anticipated in committee next month.