What Does COPE Stand for?
COPE is an acronym for the Committee on Political Education. It is our union’s voluntary bi-partisan Political Action Committee used for political and legislative activities. We hold politicians accountable at every level of government, and help our union build the political power to win strong contracts, better benefits and pass laws to protect our jobs.
By law, our union cannot use our union dues for political contributions or activities.
How do WE Build Power?
Our profession is under siege by management teams trying to use our country’s economic depression as a reason to take away our hard-earned wages and benefits – even though most hospitals have not been affected by the economy like other industries have.
We’re not big business or a corporation. So how can we get our elected leaders to understand our issues and help protect our jobs and the patient protections we’ve fought so hard for?
Through our Committee on Political Education (COPE) program.
How does COPE work for us?
COPE allows us to dedicate resources behind worker-friendly candidates and help get them elected to school boards and Congress. COPE money is used not only for contributions to candidates, but also voter registration efforts, lobbying, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Funds are also used to introduce and pass legislation that protects SEIU members and our families.
Why is SEIU Involved in Politics?
Elected officials can have a big influence on management and Boards of Directors at our hospitals. Public officials have written many letters, participated in meetings with members at just about all of our 17 hospitals, and marched along with us at numerous info pickets and strikes. Our collective bargaining rights, job security, working conditions, and benefits can be affected at any time by anti-worker legislation. To do an effective job in collective bargaining, SEIU Local 121RN must be involved in electing candidates to city councils, county boards of supervisors, governor, Legislature, president, and Congress. We must elect officials who value, who believe in, and who will stand up for working people and nursing issues at the decision-making table.
How is the Money Used?
All COPE money goes into SEIU’s Political Account for use in local, state, and federal activities only. It does not become part of the general treasury. A portion goes to the SEIU federal PAC at the International office for use in Congressional or U.S. Senate races. COPE money is used not only for contributions to candidates, but also for voter registration efforts, lobbying, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Funds are also used to introduce and pass legislation that protects SEIU members and their families.
Who Does SEIU Support?
SEIU Local 121RN supports pro-SEIU, pro-worker, pro-nursing candidates in local, state and federal election campaigns. SEIU Local 121RN is bi-partisan and supports both Republicans and Democrats who support our issues.
How can we contribute to COPE?
Talk to your Union Representative if you can donate to COPE to help protect our patients, rights and jobs. If you contribute at least $15 per month, we’ll give you an SEIU 121RN cable-knit sweater with our logo on it.