Political Action/COPE

Why does the UFT have a political action committee?

There are federal restrictions on how the UFT can use dues money to engage in the political process, and that’s where voluntary COPE funds come into play.
Only with member contributions to COPE for political action can the union exert influence on the laws and budgets our members and our public schools need.
One example of what COPE has done for YOU.
Tier IV members are no longer required to contribute 3 percent of their salaries toward their pensions after 10 years of service.
Over the course of your career, this will save you approximately $53,000.

How COPE money is used:

Education and information for members.
Telephone banks, mailings for political communication.
Literature to explain our programs.
Campaign support to elect legislators.
Lobby Days in Albany.
Some television and radio advertising.
Rallies to promote our goals.
Voter registration drives throughout our membership.

Lobbying pays off. Some victories:

Pensions cannot be diminished once the benefit is given.
Teacher’s Choice classroom supply funding.
Millions to maintain and build schools.
A law requiring 6 percent interest to be paid on late paychecks and differential payments.
Defeated unsound proposals for vouchers and attacks on tenure.
Copy machines and phones exclusively for teachers’ use.
Teacher Center funding.

See your chapter leader to sign up for COPE. Teachers contribute just $5 per paycheck to support lobbying, political action and work on behalf of candidates who have proven themselves friendly on education, labor and human rights issues.