What is COPE?
COPE stands for the Committee on Political Education. These committees exist at both the state and local levels and only dues paying members in good standing may serve.
What does a COPE committee do?
Our committee is primarily responsible for running information and mobilization campaigns on local issues with an occasional focus on state and national issues.
Why is this important to me?
COPE empowers our members by:
Providing political education to SCFT members
Raising political funds
Endorsing candidates based on higher education issues affecting our community
Supporting and contributing to endorsed candidates
Conducting voter registration drives
Implementing get-out-the-vote programs
Educating public officials on student/teacher issues
Contacting and rallying support for our issues
Are my dues payer dollars used to elect candidates or for political purposes?
No. The union collects voluntary contributions separate from your union dues. This check-off can be found on membership forms.
What does the money pay for?
We invest in SCCCD Board of Trustee candidates who have expressed and demonstrated values that align with those adopted by the SCFT Executive Council. Board members make decisions that directly impact our pay and working conditions.
These funds also go to pay for legislative issue mailings (a sizable expense) that keep our members informed on the issues, and may also go towards phone banking to mobilize our members on the issues at the right times. All of these things take money!
How does COPE make us a stronger union?
What's at stake for members and their families? Working families deserve effective representation in government. The first step is to elect people who will stand up for what's right. SCFT/COPE works to support candidates for the SCCCD Board of Trustees who will prioritize student learning conditions and faculty working conditions.
Doesn't the union just support democrats?
No, no and no. SCFT and our parent organization the American Federation of Teachers endorse candidates based on their voting record for our issues (or their pledge of support if not an incumbent).
We believe that in politics, it's issues first, candidates second, partisanship never!
Current part-time priority bills and budget asks:
Part-time faculty healthcare. We are in strong support of the governors proposal to increase the part-time faculty healthcare insurance program by 200 million dollars for the upcoming budget uear. Our state level advocates are currently pushing for modifications to the proposal that would help districts get full access to these funds and incentivize them to provide quality, affordable healthcare. This is especially important to an institution the size of State Center that serves about 70,000 students per year. Too many part-time faculty go without healthcare, and it hurts not only them but their ability to do their important work educating valley students. We need healthy campuses!
Parity for part-time faculty. Approximately 70% of community college courses are taught by part-time faculty, who often divide up their time at multiple colleges to make ends meet due to course caps. Part-time faculty are paid less than their full time colleagues, receive fewer benefits (if at all), and even have to fight for office space. AB 1752 (Santiago, D-Los Angeles) would create pay parity for part-time faculty in the community colleges by requiring districts to adopt terms of compensation for part-time faculty of at least the same ratio to the full- time faculty for comparable duties.
Increase teaching cap for part-time faculty. Existing law, known as the "67% law," limits the teaching load of part-time temporary faculty to 60% of the hours that constitute a full-time faculty assignment. Under the 67% threshold, many faculty members are forced to teach in multiple community college districts to piece together a full-time schedule, limiting their ability to participate in the campus community and be a resource to students. AB 1856 (Medina, D- Riverside) would increase the current cap on what part-time faculty can teach from 67% of a full-time load to an 85% maximum.