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Politics

Senate Kills Ban On Collective Bargaining For University Faculty

020316StateCapitolRotundaFlagLegislatureSessionLawmakers.jpg
Jenifer Jones
/
SDPB

The South Dakota Senate is rejecting a proposal that ends collective bargaining for university faculty.

State Senator Arthur Rusch is from Vermillion, and represents the district with the University of South Dakota

He says the union sets up a grievance process where employees can get heard.

“We are a right-to-work state. And right-to-work is all about the fact that you don’t have to join a union,” Rusch says. “But I don’t think we ought to say you can’t join the union, which is what that was trying to do.”

House Bill 1199 is a bill brought by Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson. He says removing collective bargaining allows universities more nimbleness in negotiating with faculty.

Mickelson points to a low number of union membership as reason to dissolve it.

Critics say South Dakota’s right-to-work status allows those who don’t pay dues to benefit from union activity.

The bill fails on a 16 to 18 vote.