For Immediate Release
January 25, 2018
SDEA Responds to Bill that Silences the Voice of University Faculty
PIERRE – House Speaker Mark Mickelson introduced legislation to ban faculty from entering into collective bargaining agreements with the state’s six public universities. The bill targets the Council of Higher of Education (COHE), an affiliate of the South Dakota Education Association (SDEA), from continuing to bargaining with the South Dakota Board of Regents.
“This is just another piece of legislation that attempts to silence the voice of educators. It comes with the typical rhetoric about the need for flexibility for university administration. The truth is HB 1199 will make it more difficult for the state’s six public universities to recruit and retain world class faculty for students,” said SDEA President Mary McCorkle, a language arts teacher from Mobridge, SD. “It will have a negative impact on the quality of the education we deliver to the students attending our public universities.”
“The collective bargaining process has worked at the university level for more than 30 years. It continues to provide an opportunity for both the Board of Regents and faculty to come together to solve problems in a collaborative manner,” said McCorkle. “Banning collective bargaining will only create more uncertainty for faculty and students alike. There will be less transparency for taxpayers if the balance of power tilts only to one side. All of this will have a negative impact on the academic environment in which our students learn. HB 1199 doesn’t solve any problems; it creates them.”
SDEA is South Dakota’s largest education professionals’ organization, representing more than 6,000 elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.
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