Know Your Contract Training
Student Center West, Room 206AB, 12-1:30pm, Mon, 9/30
Fall Member Meeting
Jane Addams Hull House, 3-5pm, Wed, 10/2
- COPE is UICUF’s Committee on Political Education. It allows us to collect and spend money on political campaigns, make endorsements, and engage in the political process
- COPE’s primary role is to manage political contributions collected from our members, and educate students, faculty and the public on political issues that affect faculty
- Faculty can get involved by becoming a contributor, or by emailing Kate Floros, COPE Chair. COPE is currently looking for strong communicators with graphic design skills
- Union dues never go toward paying for political activities
This week we are exploring the role of the UICUF Committee on Political Education (UICUF COPE) in supporting faculty by giving us a voice in the state political processes that affect our university.
How Will COPE Improve Working/Learning Conditions at UIC?
- The COPE will work with other unions representing faculty in Illinois, and allies in the state legislature to create or expand laws impacting faculty rights. First and foremost, we hope to bring state laws regarding reappointment notifications for our NTT faculty in line with existing legislation governing faculty at community colleges. Should this effort succeed, NTT faculty would receive notification of non-reappointment months earlier than they currently do, and they would have the right to receive a written explanation for the non-reappointment.
- The COPE will bring faculty issues into focus with our union allies and affiliates. The COPE was successful in getting a resolution placed on the agenda of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) convention, which, if passed, would commit the IFT to working toward passage of legislation like what is described above.
- The COPE intends to make its first-ever endorsements and/or contributions to a political campaign that has bearing on the health of our university ahead of the March 2020 Illinois primary elections.
What Is the COPE and What Else Does It Do?
The COPE has the same legal profile as a Political Action Committee, legally separate and distinct from UICUF. The distinction allows UICUF members to pool their funds/influence for endorsements and support of political/election campaigns which our union can’t otherwise participate in. This offers our members peace-of-mind knowing that union dues aren’t being used for politics, while also allowing politically-minded members a way to unite and support politicians and/or legislation important to university working conditions. The COPE is primarily focused on state and local issues and candidates, in order to most directly affect legislation related to higher education policy in Illinois.
The COPE’s other, equally important role is to educate students, faculty, and the public on faculty issues and working conditions. The committee is currently doing student outreach, and crafting a “UIC 101” one-sheet to help students understand how UIC as an institution is organized, its place within the University of Illinois System, and its status as a public research institution. There will be other educational materials about the student cost of attendance and the UIC budget later this academic year.
How Can Faculty Get Involved?
Faculty can get involved in the COPE initially by becoming a contributor. Union members (who are US citizens or permanent residents) can download a contribution form from our website and return it to email@example.com. Contributions are generally made through payroll deduction, but can be accepted in the form of a check if preferred. The COPE team strongly encourages faculty to consider becoming contributors, even if you can only afford a few dollars a month!
In the spirit of inclusiveness, each year, the COPE leadership team hosts a meeting where contributors are encouraged to help articulate COPE priorities. Additionally, the COPE team will reach out to contributors in advance of the March 17, 2020 primary election, before endorsements and/or donations are made, to elicit feedback on COPE’s endorsement plans. There are also monthly board meetings open to contributors (email Kate if you want to know the place and time of the next meeting). Lastly, some board seats become available every year, and any contributor is eligible to become a member of the board.
We hope you will take a moment to become a contributor, and get involved with our Committee on Political Education!
We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!