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Signing up members for COPE

May 26, 2008 pm31 8:04 pm

COPE is the United Federation of Teachers political action fund. Contributions are voluntary. Members sign up (if they choose) to have a small amount deducted from their checks.

I contribute to COPE. As the Chapter Leader in a small, newish school, I have over the last few years, signed up, dribs and drabs, about half the UFT staff. I use the “C” cards without an amount written in, so that members can choose their own amount. (I also make a voluntary contribution to the political action fund of my other AFT local, the PSC – CUNY’s Professional Staff Congress).

Anyway, the drives to sign people up are usually in the Fall. But us chapter leaders just got asked to run a drive now. *

Tell you what. I’m going to hold off on distributing cards until I know that the UFT is no longer pouring cash into the Clinton primary campaign. I know, I know. There was an endorsement. But the campaign is over. It’s time to say so. And publicly

How can I campaign for COPE when COPE is throwing away members’ contributions?

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* This is the text from the latest Chapter Leaders Update (5/23/08):

Though our COPE fund has given us the political influence to increase state education aid to the city, enact the long-desired 55/25 pension plan, and defeat the mayor and chancellor in their attempt to condition tenure on test scores, our political lobbying must continue unabated to defeat the budget cuts. Now more than ever your members can see what COPE does. Now is the time to distribute COPE cards to any members who are not already signed up, and make COPE an even more potent force to defend both educators and the kids.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Ms. Chalk 'n Talk permalink
    May 28, 2008 am31 5:35 am 5:35 am

    I’ve been giving COPE .50 per paycheck and I really don’t think it’s been worth it. I am too old for 55/25, I could have a kangaroo court “try” me on fake charges, my seniority barely counts for anything, and my job security is in jeopardy every day that I work. I feel like cancelling COPE, not continuing it. It feels pointless.

  2. Is COPE dead now? permalink
    June 6, 2008 am30 2:45 am 2:45 am

    Will the Obama led, DNC decision to no longer accept PAC money mean that COPE will cease to exist? If so, teachers and chapter leaders need to start trying to get other teachers and staff members in the school to make individual contributions to Obama. Schools can organize their own fund by creating a group on Obama’s website. If anybody has any info on this issue please respond. Also, what will happen to past contributions and the future of COPE?

  3. June 6, 2008 am30 4:53 am 4:53 am

    COPE is not dead.

    Think about the phone banking, the bus loads of volunteers, the mailings…

  4. Lara Kaynis permalink
    October 23, 2008 am31 4:08 am 4:08 am

    How can I change the amount I give COPE without going thru the union rep?

  5. October 23, 2008 am31 4:44 am 4:44 am

    There is a blank for the Chapter Leader’s signature on the back… however, I bet you could fill in a card and mail it in directly, changing the amount.


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