VOTE-COPE: Voices of Teachers in Education – Campaign on Political Education
As a follow-up to our General Faculty meeting on March 10 and comments made by Jeff Zuckerman, NYSUT VOTE-COPE spokesman, the NCCFT is launching a new Political Action campaign with the State and County.
The national assault on public education is growing stronger and bolder every day. Huge corporate interests such as the Koch Brothers outspend unions 15-1 in the political arena. As these anti-public education forces become emboldened by their successes in Wisconsin and Michigan, they are engaging our Governor, Senate and Assembly with promises of huge savings in public education funding, while filling their campaign coffers. There is no question that without the support of NYSUT members and their VOTE-COPE contributions, New York State would be on its way in joining the list of Right-to-Work. No one can remember a Governor of New York who harbors more disdain for public education than Governor Cuomo. We are talking about the end of the academy as we know it. We are talking about the abolition of our union, tenure and pensions; the abolition of shared governance, academic scheduling and a reduction in pay and benefits; job security would be a thing of the past.
What has VOTE-COPE lobby efforts done for us?
- protects public pensions.
- eliminated the 3% ORP contribution after 10 years.
- protects Triborough and tenure.
- protects against Right-to-Work intrusions.
- effectuates both Operating and Capital funding to our campuses.
- stopped Performance Based Funding on SUNY campuses.
Local (NCCFT receives 40% rebate of VC funds from NYSUT)
- ensures Maintenance-of-Effort from local sponsor.
- provides access to County leaders.
- provides PAC functions for education.
The only way to stem the tide is through relentless lobby efforts. NYSUT has identified and supports those State Assemblypersons and Senators who will vote for sensible legislation. In addition, NYSUT educates those elected officials who don’t understand the importance of a strong public education system. In addition to lobbying our elected state officials, the NCCFT uses VOTE-COPE funds to support our friends in the county and continue educating all of them as to the services we provide.
In the next couple of weeks, your NCCFT department representative will be distributing personalized VOTE-COPE authorization cards. At the present time, Nassau County has indicated they cannot make deductions more than once per year. Previous VOTE-COPE authorized payroll deductions are scheduled to be deducted from your April 16, 2015 paycheck. Therefore, the VOTE-COPE authorization cards we are asking you to complete will take effect in April of 2016. Of course, if you wish to make an additional contribution this year, please write a check made payable to VOTE-COPE and bring it to the NCCFT office. Thanks to those of you who are ongoing contributors and those who have sent in new authorizations and/or one-time additional contributions.
We have developed a fair and reasonable plan that will allow the NCCFT to join other NYSUT members who have been supporting NYSUT’s political action and that of the NCCFT in a more equitable manner.
We call it the “1/10 of one percent solution”. This recognizes that there is a difference in salaries, yet clearly expects overwhelming participation from our members. For example:
If you earn $25,000……………………..you would contribute $25
If you earn $50,000……………………..you would contribute $50
In you earn $75,000…………………….you would contribute $75 etc.
We are not talking about making a political contribution, we are asking you to protect your livelihood, your family’s security and your future.
If you have any questions, please contact the NCCFT office. THANK YOU on behalf of every NYSUT member. VOTE-COPE needs us and we need VOTE-COPE.