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VOTE-COPE is an acronym representing the Voice Of Teachers in Education, the Committee On Political Education. VOTE-COPE is also referred to as PAC (Political Action Committee), the non-partisan political action arm of New York State United Teachers. Funded entirely by voluntary contributions from members, VOTE-COPE is used to help union-backed candidates and campaign committees that support education and labor.


VOTE-COPE helps strengthen political action programs on all levels―national, state and local. To help on the local level, VOTE-COPE provides rebates to participating unions for political action. VOTE-COPE funds, by law, are kept separate from those of NYSUT. Decisions on the use of VOTE-COPE contributions are made by a statewide committee. Voluntary VOTE-COPE contributions can be made through payroll deduction for active members and, for retirees, through automatic pension deduction. Contributions or gifts to VOTE-COPE are not tax deductible.

Donations to VOTE-COPE help to ensure that school districts and colleges receive the state aid necessary to provide quality educational services to our youth. VOTE-COPE gives our profession the political power we need to protect education, health care and workers' rights. The primary goal of VOTE-COPE is to support the goals of public education and protect all of NYSUT's constituents, from our newest members to our retirees.


VOTE-COPE lobbies for:

  • state aid for education and health care; 

  • decent working conditions; 

  • a secure retirement; 

  • affordable prescription drugs; and 

  • affordable health coverage. 


  • takes on those whose agenda is decidedly anti-union; 

  • works for resources to help students who are striving to reach higher standards; 

  • encourages smaller class sizes through legislation; 

  • supports competitive salaries to recruit qualified teachers; 

  • fights for state aid increases so newly hired teachers can be safe from financially motivated layoffs; 

  • advocates for affordable tuition at public colleges to keep graduate program costs down; and 

  • lobbies for mentor program legislation to provide critical support to new teachers. 


For good or for bad, the future of quality public education, as well as the future of your profession, your retirement and your health care is bound to decisions coming out of Albany and Washington.

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