Public education relies on public money to exist.
Public money, usually in the form of taxes, is controlled by elected
and appointed politicians. To influence decisions and the spending of
public money for public education, public education faculty and professional
staff participate in politics through their unions.
Legislative battles now going on in Trenton and
Washington will determine key aspects of our work environment. Many
of the improvements in our environment are not negotiated at the bargaining
table, but instead, require legislation. We must convince
legislators to support legislation that would give us a voice on boards of trustees, provide equitable pay
for adjunct and part-time faculty and obtain more accountability from our institutions. See our political action page for more on these and other bills.
We must be able to lobby effectively if we are
to succeed in getting the laws we need enacted. Having a friend in the
Governor's chair is helpful when it comes to negotiating our terms and
conditions of employment. It's impossible to succeed in lobbying without
political action. The brilliance or rightness of our arguments rarely
persuades politicians. They want to know what we can do for them (or
perhaps for their opponents). Those are the hard facts of political
life. COPE funds give us political clout.
HOW ARE COPE FUNDS COLLECTED?
COPE funds are collected through payroll
deduction. While the Union contributes to fundraisers for specific candidates,
payroll deduction is the only way to establish an adequate COPE fund.
State law and our contract establish our right to a check-off for COPE.
WHO CAN SPEND COPE FUNDS?
Delegates from the Council's governing body make
the decisions about COPE spending. The Council's Political Action
Committee, which is composed of delegates from each local, recommends
political endorsements and contributions to the Council's governing
HOW DO MEMBERS CONTRIBUE TO COPE?
Members must fill out a COPE deduction card to
authorize the amount to be deducted from paychecks per pay period. The
minimum deduction is $.50 per pay period. To
sign-up for COPE, visit or call your local Union office or the Council office at 908-964-8476.