by Michael Kane
UPDATE – FAQ’s for STOP COPE Campaign
TEACHERS FOR CHOICE has just announced our partnership with Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF). Read the full press release announcement HERE.
We are calling on all New York State Educators who support us to stop paying COPE to their unions, and instead direct that money to our new fund designed to defend against forced medical mandates being imposed on educators from schools, the state, and sadly our unions to keep our jobs.
If you don’t currently pay COPE but want to support this effort, we ask you to contact your union and tell them you are now sending funds to TEACHERS FOR CHOICE instead of paying COPE to them. It is helpful and important for you to send that message directly to the union! We will explain exactly how to do this below:
There are 2 simple steps to this:
(1) Stop paying COPE to your teachers union, and then;
(2) Send those funds to the HEALTH FREEDOM DEFENSE FUND.
All checks or money orders are to be made out and sent to:
Health Freedom Defense Fund
PO Box 7217, Ketchum, ID 83340.
And write “NYTC Legal” in the check note
Right now we have no electronic option. You must send us a physical check or money order. And the smallest amount you can send us is $30, up to $500 (or more if you so choose). Money sent to this fund is not tax deductible.
Here are the exact instructions:
(1) Stop paying COPE to your teachers union
The first part of this, ending COPE payments, is very easy to do. Check on your paystub to see if you pay COPE. For UFT members, to find out if you pay COPE or not, look at your pay stub for a section that says UFT COPE, On my pay check it says
UFT COPE 5.00
($5 twice a month – a total of $10 a month; $120 a year)
To cancel this go to the following link, and send a fax or mail a letter to the UFT saying you want to stop paying COPE. Please make sure you state in your letter or fax that you are stopping COPE and sending your money instead to TEACHERS FOR CHOICE. It is ***VERY*** important they are aware of this.
Here is the link for UFT members to cancel COPE — https://www.uft.org/faqs/i-no-longer-want-contribute-cope-how-do-i-opt-out
For NYSUT and all other unions you may have a different method of paying and/or canceling COPE. Please contact us to let us know what your process is so we can post that information as well.
(2) Send your COPE funds to the HEALTH FREEDOM DEFENSE FUND.
We can’t accept checks of $5 twice a month. So we ask you to please send your YEARLY contribution to COPE to us, more if you so desire. So for example, I will be sending (at least) the $120 I currently pay into COPE. I will also be sending that money BEFORE I get confirmation that my COPE contribution has been canceled by the UFT and the NYC DOE. It is helpful if you can do the same, but it is your choice when to send your funds.
If you can’t send a full year of funding to us, please send no smaller amount than $30 at a time.
WHAT IS COPE??
COPE is the voluntary political action portion of union dues. It is *not* automatically deducted from your pay. It is something you have to opt-in to. The COPE fund is money to support the political lobbying of your union. Since our unions have abandoned us and our civil liberties, we now need to redirect that money to our new fund.
Why do we need a fund?
TEACHERS FOR CHOICE has sued the NYC DOE two times now, and has spent over $10,000 in legal fees to do so. Our first case, KANE vs NYC DOE was successful. Our second case, BUENO vs NYC DOE is still in the courts. These are cases that never should have happened if our union was functioning to protect our basic, fundamental rights. It is absolutely necessary that we begin to build up a fund in preparation for the guarantee that our unions will fail to protect our civil liberties in the immediate and distant future.