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Union Wants Governor to Increase Staffing

CORALVILLE, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Local prison union members are taking a stand today.

They say they are understaffed

More staffing now-that's what these members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal employees or AFSCME are demanding.

"We want to let the public know what's here and what's going on, said AFSCME Iowa Council 61, President Danny Homan.

He's talking about the Iowa Medical and Classification center, a prison in Coralville.

"It's really all about numbers. In 2009, there were 583 staff members at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center. Now that number is down to 527.

According to the group, in 2010, under Governor Chet Culver, they lost 28 staff members.

In 2011 when Governor Terry Branstad took office, he cut 29 more positions.

They gained eight last year - but lost another this year.

"There's probably not a classification inside that institution that's not working short, said AFSCME Local 2985 President, Danny Homan but folks at governor Branstad's office disagree.

"There are fewer prisoners than when the governor took office and there's still a strong amount of staff. Governor Branstad actually increased funding, said Tim Albrecht, spokesperson for the governor.

Still the group says lack of staffing has caused them to forgo vacations or take days off.

They say the solution is simple.

AFSCME says they want some of the budget surplus to go into hiring more people.

If not, they say they'll take the issue to the Iowa legislature.

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