News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 17, 2007

December 17th 2007

 

– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 50. . . .December 17, 2007

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services




Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the section.


BREAKING NEWS! PATRIOT AWARDED CONTRACT TO OPERATE USNS WATERS AND USNS HAYES

MM&P has recently been informed that Patriot Holding has been awarded the contract to operate the USNS WATERS and the USNS HAYES starting in February 2008. This most welcome contract award will diversify our members’ job opportunities with this longtime MM&P employer.

“This is a great step forward in helping to secure job opportunities for our members as well as future prosperity for one of our most loyal employers,” said MM&P Vice President Don Marcus, who worked on the project with Agent Pacific Ports Dave Boatner. As with all government contract awards, this award is still subject to challenges from other companies that were not winning bidders for this work. 


REMINDER: MM&P HOLIDAY CLOSINGS

All MM&P union halls, MM&P headquarters, MM&P Plans and the MM&P Federal Credit Union will be closed Dec. 24, 25 and Jan. 1. In addition, the Pacific Ports will be closed Dec. 31. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are longshore holidays in the Pacific. Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are MM&P-contracted holidays. We wish you a very Happy Holiday Season.


MM&P INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT MEETS WITH USCG COMMANDANT

MM&P International President Tim Brown, Pilot Group Vice President George Quick and Executive Assistant to the President Mike Rodriguez met with USCG Commandant Adm. Thad Allen and members of his staff Dec. 10 to discuss areas of concern to MM&P members. The group discussion covered criminalization, the USCG’s proposed medical policy, maritime security and TWIC, as well as the USCG’s proposal to combine the merchant mariner’s document (MMD) with the USCG license. 

MM&P has testified in Congress on these subjects and submitted public comments in response to rulemakings throughout the year. MM&P’s position papers and written testimony are posted on www.bridgedeck.org. To view them, just click on the “What’s New” button in the left-hand column.


MORE TWIC ENROLLMENT CENTERS OPEN, MARINERS URGED TO PRE-ENROLL ONLINE

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that enrollment centers for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) will open as follows: Dec. 20 – Joliet, Peoria; Dec. 27 –Memphis, Wilmington; Dec. 28 – Buffalo, Duluth-Superior, Jacksonville, New Orleans. TSA noted that three fixed enrollment sites will be opened for the Port of New York/New Jersey, including:  Dec. 20-Staten Island; Dec. 27-New York; Jan. 4-South Hackensack.

MM&P recommends pre-enrolling on TSA’s TWIC website. Go to www.tsa.gov and access the pages for Merchant Mariners.

MM&P members and applicants are reminded that mariners are not required to hold a TWIC until Sept. 25, 2008. Until then, they will be permitted access to secure areas in ports by presenting their merchant mariner’s document (MMD) and a photo ID.


HORIZON LINES JOINED BY U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN OPPOSITION TO TONNAGE TAX CHANGE FOR PUERTO RICO TRADE

MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines has been joined by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, maritime unions and the government of Puerto Rico in opposing a proposed legislative change that would eliminate the application of the tonnage tax on trade to Puerto Rico.

Horizon Lines said in an official statement that Congress was correct in 2004 in applying the tonnage tax to trade with Puerto Rico. “Based on the original intent of the legislation, the legislative history and the realities of the marketplace, there is no sound policy or technical reason for Congress to eliminate the application of the tonnage tax,” the company said.


SAN FRANCISO BEACHES REOPEN, WHILE CLEAN-UP CONTINUES IN BLACK SEA, SOUTH KOREA

Authorities in San Francisco say major clean-up operations have been completed. Beaches in Angel Island State Park were expected to reopen Dec. 15, although visitors were warned not to handle “tar balls” that could potentially roll in with the waves. “Shoreline closed” signs were also scheduled to be removed Saturday from two of seven regional parks, with the rest expected to come down shortly thereafter.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard has authorized the COSCO BUSAN, the vessel involved in the spill, to move from the shipyard to anchorage within San Francisco Bay. Temporary repairs to the ship have been completed, and the vessel and crew have been deemed safe to sail. The ship is not, however, allowed to depart San Francisco because of a customs hold, which will remain in place during the investigation regarding criminal and civil liabilities, the Coast Guard said in an official release. 

In South Korea, meanwhile, a team of USCG experts arrived Dec. 13 to help local authorities implement measures to contain nearly 66,000 barrels of spilled oil. The Dec. 7 spill was caused when a barge collided with a Hong Kong-flagged oil tanker, the HEBEI SPIRIT. Nearly 220 ships, including navy and private fishing boats, as well as 14 helicopters, battled strong winds to contain the slick.

Russian and Ukrainian authorities continue massive clean-up operations in the Black Sea after the Nov. 12 oil spill in the Sea of Azov, the Black Sea and the Strait of Kerch. The storm caused 10 vessels, including a Russian oil tanker and two ships carrying sulphur, to sink or run aground. The bodies of at least six seamen have been recovered, while others are still missing. The Ukrainian Prime Minister is requesting an independent probe.

In related news, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced two pieces of legislation they said were aimed at improving safety and preventing oil spills. The Boxer-Feinstein Maritime Emergency Prevention Act would increase the power and authority of the Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Service (VTS).

Under the bill, the USCG would have the authority to order ships to change speed or course during an emergency. The measure also authorizes $20 million in funding to upgrade VTS technology, and would require pilots to have their own navigational laptop computers. 

The Oil Spill Accountability Act is designed to reduce the risk of oil spills and increase incentives for making cargo ships safer. The bill would raise the liability limits for cargo ships to the same level as oil tankers.


STILL TO COME! MM&P HOLIDAY PARTIES IN NORFOLK, SAN JUAN, PORT EVERGLADES AND SEATTLE

MM&P members, their families and friends are invited to the holiday parties taking place in December in MM&P union halls, or other locations, as specified below.

ATLANTIC COAST PORTS

Norfolk: Wednesday, Dec. 19.

San Juan, combined Offshore and United Inland Group: Friday, Dec. 21, 4:00 p.m., at Levi’s on Ponce de Leon Avenue.

GULF PORTS

Port Everglades: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 11:00.

PACIFIC PORTS

Seattle: Tuesday, Dec. 18 (at MM&P’s Seattle Hall).


THREE MM&P-CREWED GOVERNMENT SHIPS FEATURED IN MSC MAGAZINE

USNS GRASP, the T-AGS ship BRUCE HEEZEN and USNS KANAWHA were featured in the December issue of Military Sealift Command’s monthly magazine, Sealift.

Oceanographic survey ship USNS HEEZEN traveled to Vietnam in October to familiarize staff at Vietnam’s weather and hydrographic agencies with the U.S. Navy’s oceanographic program and the capabilities of hydrographic and oceanographic survey vessels. Sealift reported that the trip was the first time a Pathfinder-class hydrographic and oceanographic survey ship had ever visited Vietnam.

The officers and crew of USNS KANAWHA received kudos for heroism in rescuing 16 people from a North Korean-flagged vessel in the Arabian Sea several months ago.  In the photo that accompanied the article, MSC Commander Rear Adm. Robert D. Reilly Jr. is shown congratulating KANAWHA Chief Mate Will McDermott, who accepted an AOTOS award on behalf of the vessel’s officers and crew.

USNS GRASP completed a massive environmental clean-up operation in Italy this fall, after the Navy decided to close its base in La Maddalena, Sardinia. The goal of the operation was to leave the harbor “in pristine condition” after decades of Navy use, according to the article. GRASP’s crew of 26 civilian mariners supported dive operations during the mission, in which the ship’s 40-ton boom was used to lift heavy debris.



COAST GUARD FINALIZES MOVE TO CREDENTIAL-PRODUCTION FACILITY, CENTRALIZES MARINER LICENSING PROGRAM

The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) will move into its new credential -production facility in Martinsburg, W.Va., this month, as part of a major restructuring effort to consolidate the function of its 17 independently operating Regional Exam Centers (REC). Its stated goal is to improve customer service and decrease credential processing time. Mariners will continue to use existing RECs as storefronts. Once accepted, the application will be sent to the NMC for processing. The NMC will send issued credentials directly to mariners.

The USCG also announced it has updated the links to REC websites where locations, hours of operation and contact information are posted. Click on http://www.uscg.mil/STCW/mmic-regions.htm for the website links.


NEW PHOTOS OF OUR MEMBERS POSTED TO WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG

The MM&P website, www.bridgedeck.org, has been updated with the addition of a new flash photo sequence featuring MM&P-contracted vessels and MM&P members on the job. Send us your photos and those of MM&P ships and officers for use in the magazine and on the website! To submit photos, e-mail them as separate JPEG files attached to an e-mail message addressed to: communications@bridgedeck.org. Remember: high resolution photos work best!


MM&P MAGAZINE NOW ONLINE

The November-December issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot will arrive in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online on www.bridgedeck.org.  In this issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot:

  • MM&P members and friends honored at AOTOS awards: crew of HORIZON FALCON, USNS KANAWHA, and officer on MAERSK MARYLAND recognized for bravery;
  • MM&P continues to advocate for mariners’ rights as TWIC rollout begins;
  • Newbuild MV GREEN BAY Joins Waterman fleet;

  • MMM&P testifies before Congress on maritime workforce.

    To download the magazine, go to , click on “MM&P Magazine” and then on “Download Current Issue.”


    COAST GUARD REITERATES POLICY REQUIRING SHIP SECURITY OFFICERS TO CARRY PROOF OF QUALIFICATIONS

    The U.S. Coast Guard has released the following notice:

    “The mandatory requirements for ship security officer (SSO) contained in the STCW Convention will come into force Jan. 1, 2008.  The requirements also provide transitional provisions that can be applied until July 1, 2009. The United States intends to continue our existing practice for SSO. We urge vessel owners and operators who operate vessels on foreign trade to ensure that SSOs carry proof of their qualifications. Examples of documents that will be accepted as meeting the requirements of the STCW Convention are: course completion certificate (in accordance with the MTSA regulations and the ISPS Code; and/or in accordance with the International Maritime Organization’s SSO model courses) from a course provider; company letter/certificate attesting to the qualifications (in accordance with the MTSA regulations and ISPS Code).

    “We have determined that our existing regulations, 33 CFR 104.215, are substantially equivalent to the STCW requirements. To continue to meet our Convention responsibilities, we will seek to amend 33 CFR 104.215 in order to include a license endorsement provision and transitional provisions. Once the regulations are published, all U.S. mariners will be required to carry an endorsement on their license. Per the Convention requirements, the cut-off date for obtaining the license endorsement using our existing practice (transitional provisions) will be July 1, 2009. We will inform Port State Control officials worldwide of this arrangement. If you have any questions or comments on this arrangement, please contact Mayte Medina at mayte.medina2@uscg.mil or (202) 372-1406.”

    USCG SEEKS TO ANSWER MARINERS’ QUESTIONS

    In an effort to aid in comprehension of the announcement we have reprinted above, the USCG has distributed a list of “frequently asked questions,” which we publish below.

    1. To whom do the Ship Security Officer (SSO) STCW requirements apply?
    The STCW requirements for SSO are based on the application requirements in the ISPS Code. The requirements will apply to seafarers working on board seagoing vessels of 200 GRT/500 GT and above and all seagoing passenger vessels.

    2. Do the requirements apply to vessel security officers?
    Yes. The term “SSO” is used by the International Maritime Organization in various maritime conventions and codes. The term “VSO” is interchangeable with the term SSO.

    3. How often should VSO training be renewed?
    At present there are no domestic requirements imposing refresher training for VSO. 

    4. Are the STCW requirements for VSO applicable to all officers or only to those persons serving as VSO?
    The STCW requirements are only applicable to persons serving as VSO.

    5. When will the Coast Guard start issuing VSO endorsements?
    The Coast Guard will propose amendments to 33 CFR 104.215 in order to include a provision for the issuance of an endorsement to the STCW certificate. The endorsements will be issued following the entry into force of these future regulatory amendments.

    6. Where would the VSO endorsement be displayed?
    Since the training requirements are part of the STCW Convention, it is envisioned that the endorsement will be displayed on the STCW Certificate.


    MEBA ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCED

    The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) has announced the results of its 2007 election. The new MEBA president is Don Keefe. Secretary-Treasurer is Bill Van Loo. Atlantic Ports Vice President is Bill McHugh. Gulf Coast Vice President is Marc Huber. Ed MacCormack is executive vice president and San Francisco branch agent.


    SOUTHEAST ALASKA PILOTS ASSOCIATION SEEKS TRAINEE CANDIDATES

    The Southeast Alaska Pilots Association, Ketchikan, Alaska, seeks qualified candidates for prospective positions. The deadline for submitting applications is Feb. 8, 2008. The examination will be held March 10-14 in Seattle. For more information, go to: www.seapa.com/application_info.html


    MOBILE BAR PILOTS TO OPEN BOOKS FOR NEW APPRENTICE PILOTS

    The Mobile Bar Pilots (MBP) is seeking four new apprentice pilots to fill vacancies that will open up between now and 2010. MM&P masters and chief mates are encouraged to apply for these jobs, which are being created by the increase in trade at the Port of Mobile and retirements among the ranks of the existing pilots. Once the new container port is up and running, additional pilots may be needed on top of the four. Deep sea command experience is a plus for these jobs. In November, the State Pilot Commission of Alabama will announce an “open period” during which it will receive applications. The State Pilot Commission of Alabama is the sole judge of the seniority and statutory qualifications of the applicants to be apprenticed and to select those it considers to be best qualified to fill the available slots on the Pilots’ Register, based on the following factors: minimum age of 18; degree, extent, and continuity of progress toward meeting the statutory qualifications; degree of cooperation with the Commission to determine the best qualified applicants; a permanent resident of the State of Alabama for six (6) consecutive months immediately preceding submission of application for apprenticeship; holding of or progress toward necessary Coast Guard licenses; the nature and extent of appropriate maritime employment and experience; a bachelor’s degree from a college, university or a nationally recognized maritime academy; good moral character.

    Applications must be on the official application form and must be postmarked neither before Nov. 10 nor after Dec. 31, 2007.  The official application form may be obtained by writing a letter to: The Secretary, State Pilotage Commission,        State Office Box 273, Mobile, AL 36601. If you request an application form, you will also be sent a plain English brief summary of the process for becoming a bar pilot in Mobile.


    DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING CLASS AT PMI IN JANUARY

    A “MED-DOT” class will be held at the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) in Seattle on Wednesday, Jan. 9. The course fulfills the federal requirements for initial training and “refresher” training for drug and alcohol testing aboard ship. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations require that refresher training be completed every five years. Interested members should contact the Seattle Hall at (206) 441-8700, or by e-mail: kmoran@bridgedeck.org.


    MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

    CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and March 3, 2008, seats are available in the following courses:

    AIS ECDIS 3 for Pilots � Automatic Identification System and Electronic Chart Display Information System (3 day) for Pilots: 1/28
    ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/14

    BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 2/18
    BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/31
    BST � Basic Safety Training: 2/4

    [CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
    CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 1/21
    CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/4
    CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/11
    CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 2/18
    CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/7, 1/21, 2/4, 2/25
    CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/14, 1/28, 2/11
    CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 2/25
    CMM-SHMGT-II� Ship Management (week 2): 3/3

    CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 1/25

    FF-BADV � Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 2/4

    HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day) Course: 1/7

    LAP � License Advancement Program (must be qualified by USCG for exam): 1/14
    LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/30

    MED-PIC � Medical Person-In-Charge: 2/11
    MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 1/7, 2/11
    MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/12, 2/16
    MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 1/24

    [MSC – Military Sealift Command]
    MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 1/26
    MSC-DC � Damage Control: 1/24

    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/14, 2/18

    SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 1/21
    SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 1/21, 2/18
    SHS-EMR � Emergency Shiphandling: 1/28
    SHS-ESH- BRMP � Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/28

    TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge Dangerous Liquids: 2/11

    �and remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call. Be courteous, don’t be a no show.

    Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.


    PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

    Winter 2008

    Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info on this new development.

    FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER FOWLER: 206 838-1126

    SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at www.mates.org)

    January 2008
    7-11ENAV
    7-11STB BAS
    7-11TPIC
    7-11BST
    8-11ARPA
    8-11LFBT
    14-18AB
    14-18WX BAS
    14-18SHS BAS
    14-25GMDSS
    14-1TCNAV
    21-1WKP
    22ROR
    28-1MED PRO
    28-2GMDSS
    28-8MED PIC
    28-1FF ADV
    28-29FF BAS

    February 2008
    4-8 ROR
    4-8 BST
    4-8 AB
    11-15TPIC
    12-15LFBT
    11ROR
    11-12SAR
    11-15TPIC
    12-15ARPA
    12-15LFBT
    13-15EP
    16FL
    18-22ENAV
    18-22MED PRO
    18-29MED PIC
    18-22SHS BAS
    25ROR
    25-29ARPA
    25-29ECDIS
    25-7CNAV

    March 2008
    3-7BST
    3-14GMDSS
    4-7LFBT
    10-11SAR
    10-12SEC VCF
    10-14AB
    12-14EP
    17-21TPIC
    17-28SHS ADV
    17-28GMDSS
    24-28ECDIS
    24-28FF ADV
    24-4GMDSS
    27-28FF BAS

    April 2008
    7          ROR
    7-11     STB BAS
    7-11     SHS EMR
    7-11     BST
    8-11     ARPA
    14-18  CHS BAS
    14-18  SHS ADV
    21-25  ROP
    22-25  AFF
    28-5/2 WX BAS
    28-5/2 SHS BAS
    28-5/16 TCNAV

    May 2008
    5-9       MED PRO
    5-9       SHS EMR
    8-9       BFF
    12-15   SHS BAS
    12-16   ECDIS
    12-16   BST
    12-16   ROP
    12-15   TPIC
    19-23   WKP BAS
    19-23   ROP
    26        ROR
    27         FL
    27-30  ARPA
    27-29  AFF
    27-31  WKP BAS/BRM
    28-30 CHS BAS

    June 2008
    2          FL
    2-20    TCNAV/CO
    2-6      ROP
    2-6      SHS ASSESS
    3-5      AFF
    9         ROR
    9-13    SHS ASSESS
    9-13    BST
    9-20    GMDSS
    10        FL
    10-13  ARPA
    16-20  MED PRO
    16-20  SHS BAS
    16-20  BST
    16-27  MED PIC
    23-25  SEC VCF
    23-27  ROP
    23-27  BAFF

    For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

    PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

    High-quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI logo! We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order and exact cash. Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 for prices and to order. If we don’t have your size, we’ll be glad to special order for you at no extra cost.


    MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 12-14-2007

    D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
    13,339.85 2,635.74 1,467.95
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
     Closing
    Price
     Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
    68.13
     Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
    135.75
     Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
    39.98
     Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
    27.22
     Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
    21.05
     Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
    35.38
     Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
    10.29
     Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
    33.18
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
    5.91
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
    17.25
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
    25.32
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
    14.34
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
    21.48
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
    12.28
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
    13.30
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
    13.94
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
    15.84
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
    15.32
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
    10.05
     Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    35.45
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    22.76
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
    16.62
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
    27.03
     Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
    10.11
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
    92.71
     Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
    18.39
     Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
    74.84
     Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
    22.89
     Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
    45.13
     Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
    39.41
     Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
    29.43
     Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
    11.53
     Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
    12.80
     Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
    15.20
     Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
    16.22
     Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
    16.83
     Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
    9.97
     Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
    11.58
     Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
    10.27
     Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
    39.49
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
    52.17
     Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
    32.04






    ~ Reminders ~




     

    T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

    REQUIRED COURSEWORK

    All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

    The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

    Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

    • Advanced Fire Fighting
    • Basic Safety Training, and
    • Damage Control

    Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

    Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

    Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

    Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

    The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

    Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

    IOMM&P
    700 Maritime Blvd.
    Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



    SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

    Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

    Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

    Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

    After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

    All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

    From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

    • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
    • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

    After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.



    MSC PHYSICALS

    Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.


    MM&P FCU NEWS

    GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

    Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

    Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

    6.50 percent for terms up to 24 months.
    Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

    6.75 percent for 25-48 months;
    7.50 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
    8.00 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
    You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

    Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

    MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

    PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
    MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

    Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



     

    MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

    MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

    As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



    NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

    As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

    If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.



    WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

    The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

    Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



     

    COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

    LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

    This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

    The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
     

    Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

    • Green Cove
    • Green Dale
    • Green Lake
    • Green Point
    • Atlantic Forest
    • Sulphur Enterprise
    • Energy Enterprise
    • SGT Matej C. Kocak
    • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
    • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

    LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

    • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
    • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
    • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
    • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
    • Steel Toe Voyager
    • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
    • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

    LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

    Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

    Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

    Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

    Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

    To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.



     

    WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

    The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

    The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

    “Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

    “The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

    The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



    The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

    © 2007, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.

    .