City Government has a leader. Let’s not switch to a boss.
Over the last two years, the relationship between City government and our City’s employees has improved significantly. However, the stakes are high in the June 4 Mayor’s race, since the actions of my opponent clearly expose his disdain for city employees and for public employee associations. I am also the only candidate in this race with significant personnel management and leadership experience.
In the 2012 session of the Legislature, Mark Kirkeby, (then a State Representative) was a sponsor of a bill (HB 1261) to end all collective bargaining by public employees in South Dakota, including Fire, Police and Teachers. I testified against this bill, and with the help of many other people, it was soundly defeated in a legislative committee.
The bill wasn’t complicated. It’s only a paragraph long. My opponent can’t claim he sponsored it “for the debate” or to “see what was in it”. He can’t claim he sponsored it “by accident”. He can’t claim with a straight face that he doesn’t understand what collective bargaining is. His actions show complete disregard for the benefits to the taxpayers of collective bargaining, the grievance process or the fact that public employee associations and unions in South Dakota already have plenty of checks and balances. He wanted to destroy public employees associations. PERIOD. The facts prove it.
There is a sharp contrast in this election. While my opponent believes all public employees associations need to be destroyed, I recognize the value of the collective bargaining and grievance process.
As a council member and mayor, I have shown a consistent commitment to fairness. We are now using interested-based bargaining (an advanced and more collaborative form of collective bargaining), which focuses on a ‘palms up’ style of negotiating.