Member Focus: Mike Redmond
Friday, November 16, 2012
Mike's wife Nicole Paider, their son Chase and Mike
Air traffic control career: In the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in N.C., 1997-2001. Briefly worked at Waukesha, Wis. Worked for the Department of Defense at Dobbins Air Reserve Base Airport in Marietta, Ga., in 2002. Joined NATCA in 2003 starting at Atlanta Center (ZTL), where he currently works.
Born and raised: Born in Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in N.C.
Q: How did you get involved with NATCA?
A: There's a long list of reasons. First, I saw what NATCA did for the civilian controllers at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point and how it improved their work environment. Second, I knew that as an employee of the FAA I needed to have collective voice that represented me after the FAA screwed up all my paperwork when I was first hired and swapped to ZTL. I got involved with NATCA just before the implementation of the White Book. I saw what our employer had become from when I was first hired and how the working conditions were quickly going downhill. I also had a great group of activists around me, such as Victor Santore, Tim Leonard and Rick Baugh, along with several others, who taught me what NATCA was about and helped me get involved. Lastly, I know we need the stability of remaining federal employees. Having the representation we need is so important, not just for me, but for my family and our members' families. My wife Nicole, is also a ZTL controller too.
Q: Did you have a family history of unionism? Was there any reason you got involved in a union?
A: No, I didn't have a family history of unionism. Unfortunately, it's just the fact that we — and every employee really — needs a collective voice to ensure that our employers treat us right, pay us right and provide a safe work environment. You've got to have a voice for workers.
Q: What are you involved in with NATCA?
A: I help our members who need hardship transfers for the Southern Region. I'm also on the Labor Relations team for the Southern Region. In the past, I was the Atlanta Area Safety Representative and the Southern Region Safety Representative. I helped negotiate the implementation of ATSAP after the MOU was signed. When Hurricane Katrina hit, I was on the relief team that helped our members out in the Biloxi/Gulfport Area of Mississippi.
Q: How did you get involved in these leadership roles within NATCA?
A: I wanted to fight for the rights of the employees and better the union. I felt that I could do that while I was involved in these positions and hope that I will be able to continue to do that throughout my career.
Q: Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?
A: I would have to say it was when I helped get Atlanta Center moved up in the remodeling project to remediate our facility from mold. I had the opportunity with several others to get the entire Georgia Delegation to sign a letter to get our work environment fixed. That’s a pretty big challenge in the South to get a mostly republican delegation to do anything for a union and really helped me to see how great our legislative efforts can make changes, even at a facility level. I would also say I really liked my FacRep training when I first started; listening to John Carr at the training session really inspired me and helped me to understand the importance of our union.
Q: Do you have any advice/tips/messages for members who would like to get involved?
A: Learn and listen to the reps that are around you. When I first started, I was full of rage toward our employer and wanted to fight everything and didn't always do it in a productive manner. Through time and learning to listen to some of our leadership, I have learned to still fight when I need to, but I now aim at it much more tactfully and productively.