Author

Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary. An East Coast native, he previously covered labor for The Milwaukee Journal after reporting for newspapers in upstate New York and northern Illinois. He's a graduate of Beloit College (English Comp.) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Off hours he is the Examiner's resident Springsteen and Jackson Browne fanboy and model railroad nerd.

Two doctors attend to a sick patient needing oxygen in an emergency room

Pressure builds on hospitals as COVID surges

By: - December 21, 2021

As COVID-19 cases continue to spread, the state health department raised the alarm Monday that even more rapid spread is likely soon.  Dane County, the only county in Wisconsin with a mask requirement, extended it for another month. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s highest court set the stage for a new challenge to local public health orders. The […]

Economists: Supply-chain woes, pandemic drive recent price hikes

By: - December 20, 2021

Inflation is back. But how bad is it? And why? And for how long? The most common measure of inflation, the consumer price index, rose 6.8% in the 12 months that ended in November, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That includes the cost of food and energy, both of which fluctuate much […]

Full length of young woman shielding eyes while standing by large green coronavirus against white background. Getty Images

COVID-19 cases continue surge in Wisconsin as hospitals stay full

By: - December 17, 2021

Within the coming month, the number of Wisconsin residents who have confirmed cases of COVID-19 is likely to top 1 million. As of Wednesday, the state Department of Health Services (DHS) reported 4,485 new, confirmed cases, bringing the statewide total to 932,773 people who have been diagnosed with the infection from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. On […]

Tom Vilsack

USDA chief announces funds to help local water, sewer and power systems on Wisconsin visit

By: - December 17, 2021

Rural Wisconsin will get $114.5 million in investments for water and electric power, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on a visit to the state Thursday. The funds come from the USDA’s Rural Development programs through the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Projects include $27.6 million for the city of Bloomer to replace lead service […]

Wisconsin unemployment rate falls to three-year low in November

By: - December 17, 2021

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate fell in November to 3%, a low not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic, the state labor department reported Thursday. “We’re definitely coming back in the business cycle,” said Dennis Winters, chief economist for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The jobless rate last reached 3% in November 2018. Employers added […]

Sen. Melissa Agard-UW Health nurses

New legal memo: State law doesn’t ban bargaining at UW Health

By: - December 16, 2021

Armed with a new legal opinion that states Wisconsin law does not explicitly block UW Health from bargaining with employee unions, nurses who work for the hospital system are stepping up their campaign to restore union representation. Nurses active in the union campaign sent copies of the legal opinion, written by a lawyer for the […]

Gov. Tony Evers

Wisconsin awards $60M for big projects to ease workforce challenges

By: - December 15, 2021

Programs to train manufacturing skills, expand the health care workforce and provide skills training to people in prison as well as support after their release were some of the projects that will share in nearly $60 million in state grants awarded Tuesday to address workforce challenges underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. “What the pandemic really […]

A double shot of espresso at Colectivo Coffee in Milwaukee sitting on a table inside the coffee shop

Months after union workers won at Colectivo, they’re still on hold

By: - December 13, 2021

On a warm late day in late August, pro-union employees of Colectivo Coffee celebrated when a long-delayed count showed they’d won their union representation election. Four months later, they’re still waiting for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to certify the outcome so they and their union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), can start […]

Virtual school

DPI, finance committee leaders clash over school pandemic relief money

By: - December 10, 2021

Wisconsin’s schools chief and Republican lawmakers are in a standoff after the lawmakers doubled down this week on their plan to reward schools that stayed open during the pandemic with federal money that was supposed to help students whose schools were closed. The clash follows the U.S. Education Department’s rejection this week of the Republican plan, […]

Young woman receiving a vaccine shot against a virus

State awards $8 million to encourage COVID-19 vaccination, greater health equity

By: - December 9, 2021

Faced with persistent gaps in vaccination rates for COVID-19 across Wisconsin, the state health department has awarded $8.1 million to more than four dozen organizations to help increase vaccine uptake among populations and areas where it has been lagging. The funds are aimed at improving health equity, according to the Department of Health Services (DHS), […]

State moves to patch gaps in health care staffing

By: - December 9, 2021

Wisconsin is dispatching contract health care workers to bolster staffs run ragged by caring for COVID-19 patients and is preparing to receive federal assistance in the coming weeks as the pandemic continues its latest surge. New daily cases of COVID-19 have been rising since the summer, with unvaccinated people accounting for a large majority of […]

A surgical mask and an N95 mask hang on display for sale at a pharmacy. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

New variants increase need for masking, other measures along with vaccines to curb COVID-19

By: - December 7, 2021

As public health professionals brace for the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, masking may be more important than ever, a Milwaukee doctor said Tuesday. “You want to also think about what kind of mask you’re wearing,” said Dr. Ben Weston, Milwaukee County chief health policy advisor and a professor at the Medical […]