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While prison guards are working without pay, inmates get paid - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

While prison guards are working without pay, inmates still get paid

Because prison inmate pay comes out of a different fund, they are getting paid while the guards are not during the federal shutdown. (Source: WITI/CNN) Because prison inmate pay comes out of a different fund, they are getting paid while the guards are not during the federal shutdown. (Source: WITI/CNN)

OXFORD, WI (WITI/CNN) - One of the more frustrating effects of the government shutdown is on display at a federal prison.

Guards are still reporting to work, but until the shutdown is resolved, their paychecks are on hold.

In an odd twist, inmates who perform duties in the prison are still getting paid.

"A lot of us are concerned about how we're going to come into work next week ... and how are we going to pay our bills," Union President Dave Dauman said. "Just because we're federal employees, we still live paycheck to paycheck."

Dauman's union represents 300 federal prison guards in Oxford, 150 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

"We are what they consider exempted employees, and those employees have to come to work," he said. "So we have to come to work, and we are not getting paid until the government passes a budget."

"We supervise inmates who perform duties within the institution, and those inmates at this point are getting paid," Dauman said. "They do get paid out of a little different funding. It still falls under the Bureau of Prisons budget."

Representing one of the largest groups in the state affected by the shutdown, he has a message for Washington: "I blame Congress. I think there's a simple solution - even a continued resolution for 90 days - then they could talk about affordable health care and whatever else."

In 1995, the government shutdown lasted 21 days. Dauman said he is hoping for a much faster resolution this time, saying there are guards who simply can't go three weeks without a paycheck.

Copyright 2013 WITI via CNN. All rights reserved.

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