The VOICE of Transit Workers

As a transit worker, school bus employee or over-the-road bus worker, your job, wages and working conditions are directly linked to politics.  Representatives in federal, state and local government make crucial decisions everyday that determine the amount of funding available to your transit system or school district, the safety and security requirements at your workplace, your bargaining rights, and more.

By participating in ATU-COPE, you can have a direct impact on the political process – from guiding policies on transit funding, privatization and other issues that affect you to helping elect the public officials who make the decisions.

As the largest transit worker Political Action Committee (PAC) in the United States, ATU-COPE is the voice of transit workers, school bus employees and over-the-road bus workers at all levels of government.  Since by law, union dues cannot be used to fund political campaigns, voluntary member contributions to ATU-COPE are used to help elect pro-labor, pro-transit candidates for local, state and federal office.  Once the election is over, ATU-COPE works closely with the officials we helped elect to make sure that our members’ interests are well-represented.

What is COPE?

ATU-COPE, the Amalgamated Transit Union Committee on Political Education is the legislative and political arm of the ATU. Its purpose is to educate and involve all members throughout the United States in political and legislative campaigns at both the Federal and State levels. Each year the U.S. Congress and state legislatures seek to respond to workers’ needs for improvements in our nation’s health care system, housing and child care programs, worker’s compensation, and stricter regulation of workers’ health and safety matters as well as education and pension reforms. ATU-COPE’s challenge is to remain actively involved in these issues and the political process. At the federal and state level we must protect our Section 13(c) job and collective bargaining rights and act to limit the forced “contracting-out” of public mass transportation, school bus, and other services. At the same time we must continue educating our elected officials in both the state legislatures and U.S. Congress about the economic, environmental and mobility benefits that effective transportation services bring to both large and small communities. We must insure, through ATU-COPE, that new legislation protects our rights while responding to the country’s changing transportation and other needs.   ATU-COPE works with local union officials, state conference boards, and members throughout the country to develop strategies and programs to advance those transit and labor issues important to our union, our members and their families. Contributions to ATU-COPE have increased and must continue to expand if we are to have the funds necessary to help our friends get elected and re-elected. Most importantly we have a responsibility to express our personal views to our elected representatives. We must use all the tools available to us: personal visits, post cards, letters, telephone calls – to insure that critical issues are resolved in a fair and equitable manner. The challenges ahead are many. While at times we may become frustrated at our lack of total success, we must persevere and remain a part of the legislative and political processes that determine the solutions.

View the COPE Endorsement Letter

ATU-COPE Awards Program

The Awards Program lets you show with pride that you are an ATU-COPE contributor. The awards program is divided into two categories; the first provides awards to members for their individual participation, and the second recognizes those Local Unions whose membership participation is unique.

Here’s how it works- AWARDS TO LOCAL UNIONS  

  • President’s Award-Silver Trophy . The President’s Award Silver Trophy is given each calendar year to the local having the highest percentage of active members in the President’s Club.
  • The COPE Chairman’s Award is also a silver cup wall plaque and is presented to the local union with the highest dollar contribution based on active membership.

These awards are given annually in five separate categories based on the size of the local union membership.

Awards to Individuals Members

  • The President’s Club consists of those members who have contributed $25 during the calendar years. Each recipient is issued a silver lapel pin and a certificate of membership for the appropriate year of participation.
  • The Statesman’s Club recognizes those who have gone a step farther and contributed at least $50 per year. A similar pin, though gold in color, is distributed along with a certificate of membership.
  • The Century Club consists of those members who have contributed more than $100 during a calendar year. The award for membership in this club again consists of a membership certificate and a gold pin with “100” embossed on it.
  • The Congressional Club is the highest award issued to those members who have contributed $250 or more during a calendar year. The award for membership in this club includes a member certificate and a special gold pin.

Get Involved Today

ATU-COPE is your way to protect your job, improve educational opportunities for your children, improve your standard of living and influence policy. We’re proud of the progress ATU-COPE has made. But we know this progress would not have been possible without the participation and dedication of hard-working individual members like yourself. We thank you for your work and contributions, and ask that you continue to take pride and participate in ATU as we rise to the challenges of the next decade and continue to accomplishments that have historically come to characterize ATU-COPE.   REMEMBER: CONTRIBUTIONS TO ATU-COPE CAN BE AS SMALL AS $1 PER MONTH. TALK TO YOUR UNION REPRESENTATIVE OR COME BY THE UNION OFFICE AND SIGN-UP FOR ATU-COPE. REGISTER AND VOTE ON ELECTION DAY!


Online Resources

2014 ATU-COPE Guidelines (PDF)
2014 ATU-COPE Brochure (PDF)