Below is one of five resolutions the UFT is proposing for this year's NYSUT Representative Assembly in April. Basically, this resolution stood out to me as it says one of our main priorities is to redouble our efforts to get the membership to fork over more dollars to the union for COPE. This is a difficult sell because politicians continue to implement an anti-teacher, anti-union, anti-worker, anti-public schools agenda as they have in the last few years. The UFT is looking for a "seat at the table" instead of mobilizing the members to fight back.
Four other UFT proposed NYSUT RA resolutions include support for the Chicago teachers, support for the Los Angeles teachers, endorsing the $15 minimum wage and finally one to give back to Retiree Councils some COPE money. The last one says in part: "RESOLVED, that NYSUT consider changing the current practice and recognize their retirees and Retiree Council efforts in the VOTE-COPE program by returning a portion of the dollar amount contributed by retirees designated as 999 to the Retiree Councils."
The resolution on redoubling VOTE-COPE efforts that the UFT Executive Board will rubber stamp is printed in its entirety below.
To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:
WHEREAS, recent attacks on New York State’s public schools including but not limited to, the deform agenda for schools, years of underfunding public schools in New York, the attempt to expand charter schools, the increase of dependency on high stakes testing as a source of data for student achievement rather than real learning and understanding, and APPR have caused constant upheaval in the political landscape of the teaching profession; and
WHEREAS, politicians, super PACS, and hedge fund groups have raised over 9 million dollars in a single night; and
WHEREAS, NYSUT members contribute over 9 million dollars a year; and
WHEREAS, this money elects pro-education politicians around the state through contributions, media, the MAC, and boots on the ground; and
WHEREAS, up to 40% of all VOTE-COPE contributions are returned to local unions to elect school board candidates, local officials, attend the NYSUT RA and support other local initiatives; and
WHEREAS, all VOTE-COPE contributions are filed with and made available through the FEC; and
WHEREAS, VOTE-COPE is an integral part of NYSUT’s ability to pass pro-educator legislation and stop anti-education legislation such as the voucher bill, stopping the expansion of charter schools, etc.; and
WHEREAS, VOTE-COPE is a major part of NYSUT’s ability to fight for women’s rights, wage equity, immigration reform, and the rights of all working people; and
RESOLVED, NYSUT and its locals will redouble its efforts to raise VOTE-COPE contributions; and
RESOLVED, that NYSUT and its locals will promote VOTE-COPE to its members through educational one-on-one conversations with members as well as a vigorous internal media campaign.