The John Thornton Award was presented on April 20, 2018 at the 17th Biennial Convention in Philadelphia to Mike MacDonald.
MacDonald in 2018 completed his fourth and final term as Region X Vice President. He was elected to this position in 2006. His leadership, vision, and determination helped lead the effort to organize the Engineers and Architects Bargaining Unit back in 1997. It was the start of a large-scale expansion of NATCA’s growth and strengthening into an even more powerful union. The FAA engineers did not have a voice before then. They knew NATCA could provide the resources needed to make their opinions heard. The E&A bargaining unit now has more than 1,300 employees. It’s the largest component of NATCA’s Region X and remains one of NATCA’s greatest organizing success stories.
In 1992, MacDonald was hired as a civil engineer in the FAA’s Airway Facilities Division in the New England Region. Before taking on the NATCA RVP role, Mike worked for many years supporting automation in enroute and terminal facilities as well as center power upgrades and ACEPS battery issues. He has served in many capacities in his career, including as an Equal Employment Opportunity counselor to assist victims of discrimination in the workplace. He has also served as a board member and president of the Federal Employees Child Care of Nashua. He was president of NATCA Local Engineers New England (ENE) and he was the NATCA representative on both the Career Level Descriptor (CLD) and Promotion Criteria Workgroups.
MacDonald also served as a NATCA arbitration advocate, alternate RVP for Region X, and a member of the 2006 Engineers and Architects Contract Team. In addition, he has served as a member of the Information Technology Committee.