Southwest Suburban Federation of Teachers

Southwest Suburban Federation of Teachers

AFT Local 943

The ABCs of COPE


What COPE stands for:

Committee On Political Education


The purpose of COPE:

This non-partisan committee provides monetary support for Local and State political action.


COPE funding:

COPE is solely funded through voluntary member contributions.


The COPE donation process:

The majority of contributions remain at the local level in a non-interest bearing checking account. The remainder of the money is sent to the IFT.


How the money is spent:

The Local uses its COPE fund for local political action (school board elections, campaigns, referenda, etc.). The IFT COPE fund is spent on statewide political action (campaigns, legislative support, etc.).


The benefits of COPE:

There are many benefits due to COPE that members, Councils and Locals obtain. For example, COPE works to protect and strengthen collective bargaining rights, fight for better benefits, protect due process rights like tenure laws, fight for pensions, ERO, school funding, and other school issues.


Why COPE is needed:

Elected officials are decision makers for many issues that affect school districts and their employees. It is imperative that supporters of education and school professions are the ones making these important decisions. Thus, political action is necessary to ensure that this happens.



The cost to members:

The contribution amount is decided upon by each individual member. This is strictly voluntary. However, the guideline of a minimum COPE contribution is a $5 per year per member. There is no maximum.


How the money is collected:

Currently members may fill out the contribution form located in the AFTerthoughts, by calling the Local to obtain a form or getting a form from their Council President. There are many other ways being sought for COPE contributions (payroll deduction, downloading form on the website, fundraisers, etc.).

Copyright © 2014 Illinois Federation of Teachers