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Political Action

As public employees, almost all conditions affecting our professional environment, working conditions and pension rights are determined by the actions of the New York State Legislature, the Governor, and the U.S. Congress. If we wish to have a positive influence on our professional future, we must take an active part in the political process. You can do so by contributing to VOTE/COPE, NYSUT’s political action fund.

Each school year, the VOTE/COPE campaign takes place during the month of October. Union members have an opportunity each year to begin contributing or change their contribution amount. Please take advantage of this opportunity to support the legislative decisions that, in turn, support you as a teacher.

What is VOTE/COPE?

VOTE/COPE is the Committee on Political Education, the non-partisan political action arm of the New York State United Teachers. Funded entirely by voluntary contributions from members, VOTE/COPE is used to help union-backed candidates that support education and labor. The money raised is used to strengthen political action on the national, state and local levels.

How does VOTE/COPE directly affect me?

The following are just a few of the benefits that come from your contributions.


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

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

How do I contribute?

There are three options:

  • Cash Donation

  • Check (made payable to VOTE/COPE)

  • Payroll Deduction

Committee of 100

Each year, NYSUT sends political action representatives from each district to Albany for “Lobby Tuesday’s” in the months of March and May. This is an opportunity for teachers to sit down with legislators, in their offices, to share the effects of their governmental decisions in the classrooms, first hand. It is also an opportunity for them to hear our opinions with regard to proposed bills and budget allocations, again from the perspective of those who meet with students on a daily basis.