I've heard calls for people to start refusing to give to COPE for decades and have generally not gone along. Some people think that even if the Unity/UFT machine sucks, there is still a need for some political action mechanism even if they use it in a fucked up way. I of course don't agree and have never given to COPE (except for that quarter I flipped at my Unity chapter leader so he could get one of those funky awards they give out for 100% COPE contributions.
Besides. getting out of COPE is harder than pulling King Arthur's pulling Excalibur from the stone.
But maybe the time has come.
Elizabeth Green (where have you been?) posted the item below at Gotham. Very intriguing that she would help promote the withdrawal from COPE movement. The person who wrote the email says to contact him for the withdrawal form. By the time you get that processed by the UFT - they tend to lose these forms - we will have 92% of a teacher's rating be due to test scores. Numbnuts Klein's secret goal to top Mulgrew's vote total.
I have a better idea. Tell your local Unity hack you want to change how much you are giving to COPE. Then turn it in with a nickel listed. It will cost you about a buck a year and will have just as much an impact as total withdrawal. Though it will keep your Unity chapter leader eligible for the 100% contribution awards.
UPDATE from a correspondent.....
Change the nickel per pay period to one cent. That will make the year's contribution 24 cents. Not even enough for a phone call. For that you just need a BLANK cope card, not the pre-printed ones. If a thousand folks did that, it would result in a 10 buck per pay period gain in cope. a stinging message.
Posted at Gotham:
One educator’s trash, another’s treasure
by Elizabeth Green
Earlier this week, a source sent us the following e-mail, topped with the subject line “going around the school system.” Funny how one group says “THE END OF TEACHING AS WE KNOW IT!” and means crisis, while another says essentially the same thing and means progress.
Here’s the e-mail:
Michael Mulgrew (The Antichrist of teaching)
The following are two paragraphs directly from the UFT/NYSUT press release:
UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, “The current teacher evaluation system doesn’t work for teachers - it’s too subjective, lacks specific criteria, and is too dependent on the whims and prejudices of principals. We worked with the State Education Department to create a more objective system that would apply across the state, with strict limits on the role of standardized tests.”
Under the proposed system, teachers and principals would receive one of four ratings: “highly effective,” “effective,” “developing,” or “ineffective.” The evaluations would play a significant role in a wide array of employment decisions, including professional development, tenure determinations, selection for leadership opportunities, supplemental compensation based on a career ladder, and termination. The goal is to construct an evaluation system that can be customized to the professional development needs of every teacher.
It’s quite clear that this will lead to a “merit pay” system.
Now he’s agreed to end the Rubber Rooms(making it far easier and quicker for the DOE to fire teachers) and we will have a new evaluation system that will CLEARLY lead to “merit pay.”
What did we get for all of OUR giving? Nothing. We have no contract, no extra pay and we didn’t even vote on any of this…some union! Every other NYC union and even the MTA got 4% raises over the current 2-year period.
The only feasible way to fight this is to end your COPE payments. If you want the form see me.
Follow-up comment from a vet Chapter Leader:
I would caution ANYONE to get the form from the cope office. For a number of reasons.
1. It spreads panic if there are a lot or a steady stream.
2. You get the authentic form ( I think it is the "B" card)
3. As it will take a bunch of pay periods to go into effect, there is less of a chance for screw ups. I always believe in going to the horse's mouth.
I cannot stress enough that the card should be gotten from the cope office.