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Political Action

AFT Committee on Political Education (AFT/COPE)

AFT COPE contributions through paycheck deduction are possible for Rutgers AAUP-AFT union members! Download the COPE form here.

​Rutgers AAUP-AFT has a provision in the Collective Agreement negotiated with Rutgers University administration that allows union members to authorize contributions to the AFT Committee on Political Education (COPE), the political action committee of the American Federation of Teachers, through payroll deduction. Voluntary contributions authorized by individual members of our union will enhance our ability to craft political goals and strategies as well as to make financial contributions to support worthy candidates. COPE funds are legally available for political purposes, whereas union dues are not. 

Rutgers AAUP-AFT members who authorize a payroll deduction for AFT/COPE will make it possible for our local union to participate in this national program run by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), while we control the use of the funds at the local level. The Rutgers AAUP-AFT Legislative Committee will make recommendations for disbursement of COPE funds and the Rutgers AAUP-AFT Executive Council will make official decisions on the issues and candidates to endorse.

If you prefer, donations may be made by personal check. Please make the check payable to AFT/COPE and send it to:

Rutgers AAUP-AFT
11 Stone Street.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1113 

Contributions to COPE are not tax deductible. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents may make contributions to a COPE fund.

COPE funds are part of our strategic plan to improve our political clout related to our issues. COPE is not narrowly confined to candidate recommendations but rather it enhances our capacity to educate our legislators on key issues in higher education. 

An ongoing COPE commitment in small amounts (e.g., $1.00 up to $5.00) per pay period from a significant number of our members would begin to position us to be more effective in Trenton and in Washington, DC. New Jersey has been described as possibly the "most political" of any of the 50 states, so we must improve our access to that process in order to defend quality higher education at Rutgers and in New Jersey as a whole. Where there is political corruption, it may be confronted democratically through the collective power of citizens committed to cleaning up the political process. We can stand together for the common good. AFT COPE is a practical mechanism that allows us to work for the long-term health of our democratic system. 

For more information on the union’s legislative activity or to join our Legislative Relations Committee, please contact Patrick Nowlan at or (732) 964-1000, ext. 20.


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