Fight Back through Your CCCTU’s COPE Deduction

Retiree Chapter Chair, Don Radtke

Who could have imagined seeing and hearing our U. S. President and gleeful Representatives congratulating, back slapping, and high fiving themselves on legislation designed to take away health coverage for 24 million citizens. Who would have thought this “wonderful” health coverage plan would fund the “largest in history” tax cut for billionaires and their corporations. Have you seen and heard enough? Our response can be made through our Union membership and Local 1600’s Committee on Political Education Fund (COPE).

Over the decades, the Union Movement has been guided in its legislative actions through viewing our fellow citizens as “brothers and sisters.” Unions have been at the forefront in legislation giving citizens Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act, Worker Rights, and Civil Rights. Local 1600 and our Chapter fought for legislation to improve and protect your retirement benefits. Currently, Unions are defending our past gains and working to expand and improve programs for the common good. Your Retiree Chapter membership gives you opportunities to support and help Local 1600, Illinois Federation of Labor, and American Federation of Labor. If you sign up for a COPE deduction, we can do more.

Our Illinois Governor and Legislature Elections seem far away but the commercials are already running. Our billionaire governor has put in $50 million for his re-election and the promotion of his anti -labor legislation. Governor Rauner ignores budget compromises resulting in harm to State Colleges, Students, Employees, and Seniors. It is also important to note that our next governor would be in office if a State Constitutional Convention were to be convened in 2020. The Illinois Constitution contains the “diminished or impair” clause which protects our pension benefits. Do we want to see back slapping and high fiving from changes to the State Constitution or legislation reducing our retirement benefits?

In the month of May, you received an authorization form to sign up for a COPE deduction from your monthly SURS pension. This new deduction allows retirees to participate in COPE. COPE will facilitate and fund our Union’s election efforts.

We are very appreciative of those signing up so far. Do not forgot! Please send in your COPE signup form today. Call the union office at 312-755-9400 if you need another form.

Make our governmental laws and programs serve our fellow citizens as our “Brothers and Sisters”

PS Hope to see you at the CCCTU Summer Social on June 23rd. If you want to sit with the Retirees, please contact me at or 773-238-3299.

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