By Sahid Fawaz

Republicans hate (or are scared of) unions so much that they want to ban them outright. The latest example comes from South Dakota.

The Argus Leader reports:

"South Dakota's House Speaker said he will bring legislation in 2018 to outlaw collective bargaining at the state's six public universities.

Rep. Mark Mickelson told the Executive Board on Monday that he would work to ban labor unions that represent more than 1,000 faculty members in South Dakota.

The Sioux Falls Republican said he was inspired to bring the proposal when he chaired a panel considering moving the South Dakota School of Law to Sioux Falls from Vermillion. He said professors weren't willing enough to teach courses on weekends or weeknights due to terms of their contracts, prompting his frustration.

'Something needs to change, these people need to be shaken up a little bit,' Mickelson said.

Members of the state's public faculty union were quick to criticize the proposal, warning it would lower the quality of higher education in South Dakota.

'You’re not going to attract any good professors,' said Bill Adamson, past president of the labor union South Dakota Council of Higher Education. 'You’re going to be hiring from the bottom of the pool of candidates. It’s a dangerous trend.'

Specifically, Adamson said, candidates for public university faculty positions wouldn't want to accept the jobs if they could be fired from those jobs at any time. Currently, collective bargaining agreements prevent that practice.

The union is currently prohibited from negotiating salaries and benefits, a spokeswoman for the South Dakota Education Association said Monday, and instead focuses on evaluation processes and workplace grievances.

Mickelson brought a similar proposal earlier this year that banned collective bargaining at the state's technical schools. The law took effect in July."

For the rest of the story, check out the entire piece at the Argus Leader here.

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