Lubin recognized for union service
Alan B. Lubin, who headed the statewide union's legislative and political action operations for nearly 17 years, was recently named NYSUT executive vice president emeritus.
"Alan Lubin is a towering figure in NYSUT's history. For nearly a half century, he has stood as a strong voice for working people and social justice in the halls of the Capitol and a fighter for equal opportunity for every child in classrooms across New York state," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee.
Andy Pallotta, who succeeded Lubin in January 2010, said, "When he served as NYSUT executive VP, everyone at the Capitol knew Alan and respected Alan ... He is a giant in the history of the UFT, of NYSUT and teacher unionism nationally."
Lubin's union service began in 1967, serving in leadership roles at NYSUT's largest affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers. In 1993, he was elected a NYSUT officer. During his tenure, Lubin secured Cost-of-Living Adjustment legislation; record school aid increases; and enactment in 2002 of a law requiring schools to be equipped with Automated External Defibrillators.
A co-founder of the Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY), Lubin remains active in union issues and is on the board of the New York Rural and Migrant Ministry and other social justice groups.
Fight for living wage not over
The decision by the state Department of Labor to increase the state's minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour is welcome news — but the fight is hardly over.
"Too many School-Related Professionals earn minimum wage, or near minimum wage, and can't afford to support themselves and their families," said NYSUT Vice President Paul Pecorale. "While this is a significant step forward, we won't rest until all working men and women receive a livable wage."
NYSUT pressed those points in testimony before the state labor department's Wage Board. Cheryl Rockhill, a school and bus monitor and president of the Brushton-Moira Support Staff Association in the North Country, shared her family's struggle to make ends meet during testimony to the board in June. "Despite having three jobs in our household, we still live paycheck to paycheck," said Rockhill. "We have two children and sometimes don't know where the grocery money is coming from."
At the state's current hourly minimum wage of $8.75, a 40-hour-a-week employee earns an annual salary of $18,200 — well below New York state's poverty line of $44,863 for a family of four. "The time is now to push for real change for all workers," Pecorale said.
Visit www.nysut.org for more information.
Support for striking teachers
NYSUT sent messages of support and solidarity to striking teachers in Washington state and Pennsylvania.
Teachers in Seattle and Pasco, Wash., returned to classrooms in mid-September after tentative contract agreements were reached over pay raises and fair evaluations. The Shamokin Education Association in Pennsylvania, which has been working without a contract since 2013, was still on strike as of presstime. Send messages of support to President Mary Yohe at firstname.lastname@example.org.