Click here to authorize a deduction for the AFT Committee on Political Education.
Politics matter to our union. Our strength comes from our organized membership on our campuses, but we also can protect our rights and get needed funding and resources for our university by working to influence what happens in Trenton and Washington, DC.
The COVID-19 public health and economic crisis especially highlighted the need for collective political action to push legislators to safeguard union jobs at Rutgers and ensure safe and healthy working conditions. In the past two years, we worked with legislators and the governor’s office to get Rutgers libraries closed (against management’s wishes) at the start of the pandemic; pass a millionaire’s tax that funds needed state programs, including public higher education; fully restore threatened cuts in state funding for Rutgers; implement a work-sharing program that protected participants’ incomes through unemployment benefits when they furloughed; and lower health care costs for everyone we represent by getting access to less expensive programs for state employees.
This is why we work with the AFT Committee on Political Education (COPE), our parent union’s political action committee. Using voluntary contributions from members, the COPE pays for expenses related to educating legislators and supporting officeholders who respect our members, support public higher education, and work toward our union’s goals. Through the COPE, we are able to advance legislation and policies that strengthen our union, bolster public higher education, and safeguard our rights. We support candidates who support us and public officials who get things done for our members, our students, and their parents.
The AFT COPE is entirely funded by voluntary contributions—we don’t use union dues money for political action. As a provision of our contract, Rutgers AAUP-AFT members can authorize a paycheck deduction to contribute to the COPE. The funds will go to the national program run by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), but Rutgers AAUP-AFT will control the use of funds at the local level. The union’s Legislative Committee will make recommendations for disbursement of COPE funds, and the Rutgers AAUP-AFT Executive Council will make official decisions on issues and candidates to endorse.
Click here to authorize a paycheck deduction for the AFT Committee on Political Education. 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. If you have any questions about the form or the COPE, email firstname.lastname@example.org.