collective bargaining

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.”

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

The South Dakota House of Representatives is passing a bill that removes collective bargaining for the state’s public university faculty.

House Bill 1199 passed thirty seven to twenty eight.

Of the roughly 3,500 union-eligible professors under the Board of Regents, around 120 pay dues.

Republican State Representative Mark Mickelson is the prime sponsor of the bill. He says that low membership number is reason enough to remove the ability to collective bargain.

A South Dakota House committee is passing on legislation that removes collective bargaining for the state’s public universities.

Proponents say the bill will give universities more flexibility

Critics say the bill makes South Dakota’s conservative labor structure even more anti-union.

Currently, five other states don’t allow collective bargaining at their state universities. During public testimony of House Bill 1199, of the 3,500 eligible employees who are union eligible, only 122 are due paying members.

In The Moment ... January 30, 2018 Show 266 Hour 2

House Bill 1199 has straightforward language. It's an act to prohibit collective bargaining by employees of the Board of Regents.

We first spoke with South Dakota Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson about the effort on Januay 23rd.

Today we welcome another voice on the topic. Mary McCorkle is president of the South Dakota Education Association. She's a language arts teacher from Mobridge.