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March 4, 2016 // Member Focus: Patrick Ream, Philadelphia ATCT

NATCA/FAA career: I was hired in January 2003 to work at Atlantic City ATCT (ACY). I transferred to Philadelphia ATCT (PHL) in October 2006. I was elected Area Rep in June 2009, then elected FacRep in October 2015.

Born and raised, other places of living: I was born and raised in Philly. Spent two years in Beaver County, Pa., while in school. After the Academy, I moved to South Jersey.

Education: Two years at Community College of Beaver County.

Family: My wife, Jennifer, a former controller, and my two daughters, Annabelle, eight, and Brooke, seven.

How did you become a NATCA member?
I joined on day one. My parents were both union members and I knew from a young age that it was important.

Do you have any family members who were involved in unions?
My father Patrick was a charter member of NATCA. He served as FacRep of ACY and North Philadelphia ATCT (PNE). My mother was a member of the American Postal Workers Union. She served as shop steward multiple times in multiple stations in and around Philly.

How did you get involved and what are you involved in with NATCA?
I started as an Area Rep at PHL in 2009. I had the privilege of being mentored by my FacRep, Don Chapman. I did what was asked of me and eventually earned more and more responsibility. I served in that capacity until elected FacRep in October 2015. I was also our Local’s schedule representative for five years. In that capacity, I wrote the schedule and also negotiated our local memorandums of understanding for basic watch schedule and prime-time leave.

What made you decide to take on leadership roles within NATCA?
I think that if you are presented with an opportunity to challenge yourself, you should do it; especially when it is something for the greater good. I also believe that it is crucial that the younger generation of controllers (which I’m still one of… BARELY!) get involved because you can’t replace the experience, knowledge, and patience of NATCA’s senior leadership without jumping right in.

What’s the most rewarding part of being facility president? What’s the most challenging?
Answer to both: Getting something accomplished in spite of the seemingly infinite layers of government bureaucracy!

What would you like to get involved in that you haven’t already?
Arbitration and Pre-Arbitration Review.

Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of NATCA?
I’ve been playing guitar for 20 years, and love playing and writing music.

Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?
I think a moment that stands out to me happened during the Minneapolis Convention (2014). The NEB proposed changing to an every three-year convention; the membership debated and deliberated, and ultimately showed that our members really are the governing body. I’ve never seen anything more purely democratic.

Do you have any advice/tips/messages for members who would like to get involved?
Speak up! Don’t expect someone to gift-wrap it for you. Don’t expect it to be glamorous, and don’t turn up your nose at grunt work. If everyone devoted just one break a week to NATCA, there’s no telling what could be accomplished.

Let’s go beyond your involvement with NATCA.

My favorite band is: Against Me!
My specialty meal to cook is: Gravy (Italian for spaghetti sauce).
If I could pick four people to have dinner with, dead or alive, I would you choose: Joe Strummer, Noam Chomsky, and my Grandmom and Grandpop.
My favorite book I could read over and over is: A People’s History of the United States.
The best place I’ve ever travelled to was: Guatemala.
My favorite sport is: Baseball.
My mother/father (pick one) always told me: Do what you think is right, and you’ll always be able to answer for your actions.
My favorite sports team that I live and breathe is: The Phillies.
In my spare time, I enjoy: Spare time???