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South Dakota Faculty Union at Risk

March 2, 2020

South Dakota’s House and Senate each passed bills last week that would ban faculty members from collective bargaining at all six state universities. Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican, supports the bills, according to the Associated Press. Proponents say that the end of collective bargaining could give the state more flexibility in terms of budgeting. But opponents say that unions provide faculty members academic freedom and other protections.

Mary McCorkle, president of the statewide faculty union, which is affiliated with the National Education Association, said in an interview that the union does not negotiate salaries and that its main interest is in ensuring that professors teach under conditions that benefit student learning.


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