Voice Of Teachers in Education, the Committee On Political Education
The primary goal of VOTE-COPE is to support the goals of public education and protect all of NYSUT’s constituents, from our newest members to our retirees.
Take a moment and look at all of the things that VOTE-COPE has done for you.
VOTE-COPE lobbies for:
• state aid for education and health care;
• decent working conditions;
• a secure retirement;
• affordable prescription drugs; and affordable health coverage.
Ø takes on those whose agenda is decidedly anti-union;
Ø works for resources to help students who are striving to reach higher standards;
Ø encourages smaller class sizes through legislation;
Ø supports competitive salaries to recruit qualified teachers;
Ø fights for state aid increases so newly hired teachers can be safe from financially motivated layoffs;
Ø advocates for affordable tuition at public colleges to keep graduate program costs down; and
Ø lobbies for mentor program legislation to provide critical support to new teachers.
For good or for bad, the future of quality public education, as well as the future of your profession, your retirement and your health care, is bound to decisions coming out of Albany and Washington.
In recent years VOTE-COPE has helped to secure:
a permanent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retiree pensions;
Teacher Center funding;
the elimination of Tier inequities such as the mandatory 3% contribution for Tier 3 and 4 members of the NYS Retirement System (these members now only pay into the system for 10 years instead of their entire career);
the continued enforcement of tenure laws and legislation like the Triborough Amendment (which continues the terms of expired contracts until successor agreements are negotiated);
momentum for greater investment in our schools; and
historic overrides of vetoes that restored $1 billion in education and health care funding;
On the national level VOTE-COPE has helped in the fight against privatizing Social Security. A study by the Women’s National Law Center found that privatizing Social Security will increase poverty among the elderly and those with disabilities. Additionally, VOTE-COPE has helped to prevent the passage of anti-public education measures like vouchers and tuition tax credits throughout New York and all 50 states.
The single greatest form of VOTE-COPE expenditures, however, comes in the form of rebates to locals. These rebates supply the resources necessary to run campaigns for school budget initiatives and elections of pro-public education candidates for school board races. Smaller class sizes, greater investments in technology and capital improvements, higher standards and the resources to achieve them are all a part of VOTE-COPE. You should be a part of VOTE-COPE, too. When we speak with one voice, we make a difference. Your building reps will have payroll deduction forms available to make contributing easy and seamless.