(SD)-SD House Panel Advances Faculty Union Ban At Public Univerities.
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee has advanced to the floor a bill ending collective bargaining at the state's public universities.
The unions at the schools don't negotiate contracts or benefits, but House Speaker Mark Mickelson says unions can make it difficult for the universities to hire or fire the people they need to, adding that his goal is to promote the flexibility and nimbleness of the institutions.
Alan Aldrich, state president of the Council of Higher Education faculty labor union, says the bill poses a real threat to recruiting new faculty.
Union contracts cover more than 1,300 staff members at the state's six public universities and at schools for the blind and deaf.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard supports the legislation and last year signed a similar bill banning collective bargaining at the four technical institutes in right-to-work South Dakota.
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