The current economic crisis underscores the importance of having a strong, vibrant union to advocate for our interests as members of the Stockton community. The SFT is actively working on critical issues like wage/benefit negotiations, state appropriations for higher education, the dependent eligibility audit, and labor relations with the College’s administration.
The union’s NJ/AFT – COPE Fund plays an ongoing role in monitoring proposed legislation (e.g. the Employee Free Choice Act) both in Washington and Trenton that may directly affect our interests as union members. The COPE Fund also occasionally supports the political campaigns of candidates who support issues of interest to the SFT.
If you currently contribute via a payroll deduction to the COPE Fund we wish to extend our sincerest gratitude for your continued support. If you do not contribute presently, please consider doing so by filling out the enclosed authorization card and bringing it by the union office in the upper H-Wing. Contributions are deducted automatically on a bi-weekly basis and can be as minimal as $1 per pay period.
More information on COPE can be found below, if have additional questions, please contact Brian Tyrrell at 609-576-7766, or firstname.lastname@example.org
COPE – Committee on Political Education
WHAT IS COPE? HOW DOES IT WORK?
COPE stands for the Committee on Political Education.
Public education relies on public money to exist. Public money, usually in the form of taxes, is controlled by elected and appointed politicians. To influence decisions and the spending of public money for public education, public education faculty and professional staff participate in politics through their unions.
Legislative battles now going on in Trenton and Washington will determine key aspects of our work environment. Many of the improvements in our environment are not negotiated at the bargaining table, but instead, require legislation. In 2007 we must convince legislators to support legislation that would give us a voice on boards of trustees, provide equitable pay for adjunct and part-time faculty and obtain more accountability from our institutions. See our political action page for more on these and other bills.
We must be able to lobby effectively if we are to succeed in getting the laws we need enacted. Having a friend in the Governor’s chair is helpful when it comes to negotiating our terms and conditions of employment. It’s impossible to succeed in lobbying without political action. The brilliance of rightness of our arguments rarely persuades politicians. They want to know what we can do for them (or perhaps for their opponents). Those are the hard facts of political life. COPE funds give us political clout.
HOW ARE COPE FUNDS COLLECTED?
COPE funds are collected through payroll deduction. While the Union contributes to fundraisers for specific candidates, payroll deduction is the only way to establish an adequate COPE fund. State law and our contract establish our right to a check-off for COPE.
WHO CAN SPEND COPE FUNDS?
Delegates from the Council’s governing body make the decisions about COPE spending. The Council’s Political Action Committee, which is composed of delegates from each local, recommends political endorsements and contributions to the Council’s governing body.
HOW DO MEMBERS CONTRIBUE TO COPE?
Members must fill out a COPE deduction card to authorize the amount to be deducted from paychecks per pay period. The minimum deduction is $.50 per pay period. To sign-up for COPE, visit or call Brian Tyrrell at 609-576-7766. or the State Council office at 908-964-8476.
Contacts for Action
NJ Governor Chris Christie
New Jersey Legislature
Senator- Jeff Van Drew – Democrat
Assemblyman- Bob Andrzejcak – Democrat
Assemblyman- Sam L. Fiocchi- Republican
Senator- Jim Whelan- Democrat
Assemblyman – Chris A. Brown- Republican
Assemblyman- Vincent Mazzeo -Democrat