The House Commerce and Energy Committee shot down a bill that prohibits collective bargaining.The bill seeks to curb the power of unions for workers and public employees. It is similar to legislation in states like Wisconsin. But committee members felt the legislation hurts public employees like firefighters and police officers. SDPB's Charles Michael Ray has this story.
Those backing the bill claim that public employee unions have too much power and bully their way into higher salaries. But Democratic Representative Spencer Hawley says collective bargaining is a non-issue in South Dakota.
"The only thing that I've seen that's happened is somebody watched TV and saw what they're doing in other states and thought we should bring it forward in South Dakota. My Mayor came forward and said from Brookings that collective bargaining is great deal and it helps him a lot and it's a tool he can use with his employees, he's not a member of a union. The superintendent from schools came forward and said this is a good program we've got we've got a good situation we've got he's not a member of the union. And I don't know how many e-mails we've got from fire and police departments across the state of South Dakota. There is not a problem that exists," says HawleyThe Committee agreed and unanimously killed the bill.
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