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‘Something out of communist Russia’: Sen. Chris Kapenga fights raises of less than 2% for state unions

Noted: The union represents trade workers at University of Wisconsin campuses, prisons and other state facilities. In many cases, they make about $41 an hour, according to state records.

As with trade workers around the country, they are paid a lower wage as apprentices. They all make the same wage once they complete their apprenticeships and become journeymen.

Kathy Thompson worked for 20 years as a steamfitter for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She recently started working for the private sector because the pay was much better, she said.