April 13, 2017
By Stephanie West
New York, N.Y. — New York State United Teachers has celebrated Alan B. Lubin’s nearly half-century fighting for public education, civil rights, students and working people by presenting him with the union’s highest honor — the Albert Shanker Award for Distinguished Service. The award was presented on Friday April 7th.
Lubin served for decades in leadership roles in both the United Federation of Teachers and NYSUT, including 17 years as NYSUT’s executive vice president where he forged strong bipartisan relations and helped win tremendous victories in Albany for NYSUT members across the state. The NYSUT Board of Directors named Lubin the union’s executive vice president emeritus last year.
“In the long history of this great union, Alan Lubin stands out as a lion who, in the spirit of the legendary former UFT and American Federation of Teachers President Albert Shanker, built broad, successful coalitions and knew how and when to use a joke, a smile — or a threat — to move legislators to our agenda. Over nearly five decades, Alan’s work improved the lives of union members and the institutions they served. I can think of no one more deserving of the Albert Shanker Award,” said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee.
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta noted that, as leader of NYSUT’s legislative and political action operation, Lubin led the fight to protect public employees’ pensions from inflation through enactment of a Cost-of-Living Adjustment; won record school aid increases; pressed legislation requiring schools to be equipped with Automated External Defibrillators; and, later, co-founded the Business and Labor Coalition of New York.
“Alan Lubin has worn many hats — civil rights leader, political strategist, mentor, friend and fighter,” Pallotta said. “Above all, Alan Lubin is a unionist, through and through. He is a giant in the long history of two great unions — the UFT and NYSUT. He followed in the path blazed by Albert Shanker and is very deserving of this award.”
Lubin, a resident of Clifton Park in Saratoga County, noted that the Shanker Award is especially meaningful to him. When Lubin was a young teacher and unionist, Shanker invited him to meetings with Bayard Rustin, A. Phillip Randolph, Norm Hill and other leading labor figures of the day. There, Lubin said, he learned to listen, hone arguments and strategize — and, with Shanker, began to emphasize the importance of building strong coalitions with others who share the union’s goals.
“Albert Shanker was my mentor and my teacher,” Lubin said. “I am forever grateful to him. I am deeply honored to be receiving the Albert Shanker Award for Distinguished Service.”