News

Wheelhouse Weekly – July 17, 2003

July 17th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 29 . . . . July 17, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




 

JOB OPENINGS IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

A MM&P Pacific Maritime Region-contracted company with operations in the San Francisco Bay area is seeking to add up to six tug captains to their employee roster. The jobs are located in the Bay area.

  • Tractor Tug and Conventional Tug experience is highly desired.
  • MM&P members from any Membership Group are encouraged to apply.
  • Living within commuting distance is a necessity.
  • Relocation assistance may be available.

For additional info or to indicate interest, contact John Schaeffner, PMR’s Portland Branch Agent, by Email to jschaeffner@bridgedeck.org or by phone to 503-283-0518.

Resumes may be sent to him by Email, faxed to 503-283-0518, or delivered to the PMR Portland Hall:

John Schaeffner, Branch Agent Pacific Maritime Region – IOMM&P 2225 N. Lombard St. #206 Portland, OR 97217

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MM&P SENDS THANKS TO SENATORS FOR MSP

On July 16, MM&P International President Tim Brown was joined by the presidents of MEBA, SIU and AMO in sending a letter to Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation expressing appreciation for Sen. McCain’s leadership in the effort to enact Maritime Security Program (MSP) reauthorization legislation.

The letter said in part that,

“We are especially pleased that legislation sponsored by yourself and Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC) to extend, expand, and enhance the Maritime Security Program was favorably reported by your Committee on June 26, and that your legislation, along with Title XXXV of the House-passed HR 1588, will form the basis of discussions on MSP reauthorization in the House-Senate conference on the fiscal year 2004 defense authorization legislation.

“We understand that there may be differences of opinion among the conferees regarding certain provisions contained in the two versions of the MSP legislation. We hope that these differences can be resolved so that this vitally important sealift initiative can move forward and be enacted into law this year.

“Enacting MSP reauthorization legislation now means that the Department of Defense will be able to plan for future contingencies with the knowledge that militarily useful US-flag commercial sealift capability, intermodal infrastructure, and American mariners will continue to be available to the US.

“It also means that the Department of Defense will have the certainty of knowing that it does not have to dedicate its resources to replicate the capability that the private-sector maritime industry provides today under the Maritime Security Program.

“Finally, it will enable the maritime industry to plan now for the future so that economic decisions and fleet modernization plans can move forward in a seamless transition to the enhanced Maritime Security Program this legislation will provide.

“The Maritime Security Program has been fully integrated into our nation’s defense planning in peacetime, and it has now passed the test of actual military operations. As USTRANSCOM Commander-in-Chief General John W. Handy emphasized recently, ‘Lessons learned from Operation IRAQI FREEDOM serve to highlight the benefit of MSP.'”

In closing, the union presidents noted that they “stand ready to provide whatever assistance we can to you and your colleagues to facilitate and expedite the enactment of MSP reauthorization legislation.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MATSON’S NEW MV MANUKAI CHRISTENED IN PHILADELPHIA

MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Company’s new 2,600-TEU containership MV MANUKAI was christened last week by Margaret Inouye, wife of Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), at a ceremony held at the Philadelphia Kvaerner Shipyard, Inc. (KPSI). The vessel is the first of Matson’s two-ship, $220 million contract with KPSI.

Those present for the ceremony included Senator Inouye, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell, Charles Stockholm, chairman of Matson’s parent company Alexander and Baldwin, and Allen Doane, Matson’s chairman. Executive Assistant to the President Mike Rodriguez represented the MM&P.

The MANUKAI is the first new Matson vessel built since 1992, when the MV RJ PFEIFFER entered service. The ship is also the first to be constructed by KPSI and the first new ship built in Philadelphia in 34 years.

“This new ship will help ensure that Matson continues to provide Hawaii with efficient, dependable ocean transportation services of superior quality and value,” said Doane. “This significant investment also underscores our long-term commitment to remaining the state’s leading ocean carrier. Most importantly, it has been designed and built specifically for our Hawaii service customers and will meet the current demands of our market.”

In his remarks, Senator Inouye commented: “Today, we are celebrating the birth of a new ship for Hawaii – the first of a new generation that will serve the state in the 21st century. It marks a major commitment by Matson to ensure its transportation lifeline to and from the Islands remains vital, versatile and reliable.

“No state in the nation is more acutely aware of the vital role our US Jones Act fleet has in serving domestic waterways. For those of us who call Hawaii our home, the steady flow of cargo vessels coming to and from the state is essential,” the Senator said. The Jones Act requires that vessels in the domestic trades be built in US shipyards and be crewed by American citizens.

Mrs. Inouye’s participation had a special significance in that she christened Matson’s SS HAWAIIAN ENTERPRISE in 1969, which was later renamed MANUKAI. At the time, the ship was the largest and most powerful containership under the US flag. While in service, she completed over 700 voyages and carried over a million containers of cargo, a record for the Hawaii trade.

For KPSI, the christening of the MANUKAI is a milestone for the newly revitalized shipyard, which had formerly been a naval shipyard.

The MANUKAI will commence with sea trials later this month and enter Matson’s Hawaii service in the fall. As a replacement vessel, the ship will be one of eight MM&P-crewed Matson containerships deployed in the West Coast and Hawaii trade.

MM&P members Katherine Sweeney and Paul Schulman will be serving as the vessel’s Masters, while the Chief Mate’s billet is being filled by Andy Merrill and Jeff Idema. Other LDO jobs will ship off of the board.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

JULY 21 DEADLINE FOR SEA-LAND REUNION REGISTRATION

Deadline for registration for the SeaLand 2003 Alumni Reunion is July 21. The Reunion Committee is inviting all company alumni to spend an evening with hundreds of their former SeaLand associates from around the world at the SeaLand 2003 Alumni Reunion. The cost is $80 per person.

This international night to remember will be held at the beautiful Pines Manor in Edison, NJ on Saturday, October 11. To guarantee attendance at the biggest SeaLand event ever, those interested in attending should register and send in payment now. Seats will be allocated based on reservations paid by the July 31 payment deadline. Absolutely no walk-ins will be accepted the night of the party.

The Reunion Committee has reserved a block of rooms at a special SeaLand Reunion rate at the Clarion Hotel and Towers, across from the Pines Manor. Rooms should be booked early. For complete info on details and deadlines, see their website at www.sealandreunion.com.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

UPDATED MATES REUNION PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER 19-21

The MM&P MATES Program graduate reunion will held at MITAGS from September 19-21. Current plans include a mixer on Friday complete with food, music and entertainment. The Saturday night function is shaping up to be a traditional Maryland Crab Feast, with tasty BBQ items to round out the menu.

In addition, the possibility of attending a Baltimore Orioles baseball game for Friday or Saturday night is being investigated as is a potential day trip to Annapolis, home to the US Naval Academy.

The names of those individuals who have responded positively are posted on the Union’s website. Click on the “Original MATES Program Reunion” button on the left side of your screen.

Additional info and updates will be posted as they become known.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

NEWS FROM THE PLANS

Life Works, a benefit to all members covered under the Health & Benefit Plan, is offering two CD recordings to help parents handle the practical and emotional aspects of sending a child off to college.

These CDs entitled “Letting Go” and “Understanding the College Years” are both free of charge to MM&P members. Simply sign on to the www.lifeworks.com site and use ID mmp and password 5100 to order recordings or download articles.

Participants can access a library of resources on the Life Works site to assist in any of life’s transitions.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

SEASON’S FIRST HURRICANE HITS TEXAS COAST

Earlier this week, Claudette, the season’s first hurricane, hit the Texas coast with sustained winds of 80 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. The minimal hurricane caused ship traffic to be halted in the Houston Ship Channel Monday night as sea conditions became too treacherous for safe transit. At one point, over a dozen vessels were waiting to transit the ship channel.

The Category One storm struck parts of the coastline with surprising force according to some longtime residents, causing extensive damage in some low-lying areas. Within hours of making landfall, Claudette was downgraded to a tropical storm.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

“FIRE ON PIER 32” OPENS IN SAN FRANCISCO

The theatrical production “Fire On Pier 32” opened in San Francisco at the Mission Cultural Arts Center on July 11. Written and produced by playwright Jack Rasmus, it begins with an historical account of the Maritime and General Strikes of 1934 that gave collective bargaining power to the West Coast seamen and dockworkers.

The play’s final act leads up to labor relations of today, culminating with the lockout of the International Longshoremen and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU) by their employers last year.

In 1919, West Coast shipowners were able to break union organizing efforts and form selective “company” maritime unions with no bargaining rights. This lasted until 1934 when Harry Bridges organized the dockworkers and obtained a contract. The shipowners used numerous tactics, including violence, to prevent the unions from achieving their goals.

Bridges promised a democratic union with membership ratification of contracts, unheard of at the time. He entered into a coalition with all maritime workers from which “Solidarity” was born.

In many instances in the play, the mention of “deck officers” and other seamen’s ratings supporting the strikers give them resolve to carry on. The final scene depicts the current Bush administration’s use of the Homeland Security and Patriot Acts to prevent work stoppages and weaken labor’s bargaining position in negotiations of today.

A dozen professional actors keep the audience entertained and make the play a worthwhile event for anyone interested in the history of maritime labor relations over the past century.

The play will run in San Francisco Saturday and Sunday through July 27th with plans to take it to other West Coast cities. It will be made into a video in August. The production is currently running as part of San Francisco LaborFest 2003.

For play info and related activities go to: www.laborfest.net/Schedule2003.html. Website for the Cultural Arts Center is at www.missionculturalcenter.org.

Thanks to Chuck Viebrock of MM&P’s San Francisco Hall for providing this info for publication.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

BUSH SEEKS TO CUT OVERTIME PAY FOR MILLIONS OF AMERICANS

As proof that working Americans must always be vigilant to protect the labor movement’s hard-fought victories, the AFL-CIO reports that a drive is underway by the Bush Administration to take away overtime pay from millions of US workers.

The AFL-CIO is urging that before the end of July, all workers need to tell Congress to block the Bush overtime cuts. Last week, the labor movement lost the vote in the House of Representatives but has another chance when the Senate considers an effort to block overtime cuts.

More than eight million people are slated to LOSE THEIR OVERTIME PAY in the coming months. Here is what is needed in the next couple of weeks:

First, go to the link below to send a fax to your senators and representative with a copy to President Bush. Tell them to repeal the Bush overtime take away at:

www.unionvoice.org/campaign/senateOTrider/g7e74aj8i8

Second, Email your friends, family and co-workers and ask them to get involved and help stop these pay cuts.

Click on the link below to send them a message.

www.unionvoice.org/campaign/senateOTrider/forward/g7e74aj8i8

Or if you want to send a single email to a group of friends, copy and paste this link along with your own personal message into your own Email:

http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/senateOTrider/

These overtime cuts will impact millions. Here are some of the problems with the Bush overtime changes:

* People with training or education that helps them do their jobs, including military training, skills training, medical training, law enforcement training, fire rescue training and more, could be automatically excluded from getting overtime.

* The Bush administration will change the rules that determine who is and isn’t an overtime-ineligible supervisor and cut overtime for millions.

People who make $22,100 could more easily be classified by the Department of Labor as executives and lose all of their overtime pay.

* Not a single public hearing on this issue has been held or even scheduled.

The public has been able to comment only through outreach and activism efforts.

These are just some of the outrageous changes that could go into effect unless the labor movement stops them.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MARAD’S UPCOMING SHORT-SEA SHIPPING FORUM SET FOR JULY 23

Commenting that “The concept has exceeded our expectations in the industry response,” the Maritime Administration is planning a July 23rd forum with industry officials to discuss the establishment of a public-private partnership to foster the development of a US short-sea shipping system.

The purpose of short-sea shipping is to relieve increasing rail and highway congestion.

The forum will be held between 1300-1700 hrs at MARAD’s Washington HQ, 400 Seventh Street, SW. Additional information may be obtained by calling Michael Hokana at 202-366-0760, Email: michael.hokana@marad.dot.gov.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Online Application “Glitch” Corrected

If you received a “CLASS FULL” MESSAGE on-line for some of the CMM courses, please try again. As you can see from the list below, we have plenty of openings. Thanks to the members who brought the problem to our attention. Do not hesitate to call the admissions office if you experience any difficulties applying on-line.

 

Company/Ship Security Officer Course Adds Port Facilities

MITAGS’ three-day Company/Ship Security Officer (C/SSO) program has been upgraded to include a Port Facility component. Please note the additional offerings below, and that the course has been re-named “Security Officer Training (SEC­OFF PSC) Port Facility, Company and Ship.”

 

7/28 License Advancement Program Openings

If you qualify for raise in grade, our LAP course commencing 7/28 still has openings. Check with Ms. Mary Matlock in Admissions if you have questions regarding the approval of your USCG application.

 

Take Advantage of the following Class Openings

Between now and the end of September, seats are available in the following courses:

  • ARPA: 9/15
  • ASSESSOR TRNG: 8/8

~~~

  • BRM: 8/4
  • BST: 7/21, 9/15

~~~

  • CMM-ADVSTB: 8/18
  • CMM-CHS I: 8/25
  • CMM-CHS II: 9/1
  • CMM-MPP: 9/15
  • CMM-VPEN: 7/21
  • CMM-WKP: 9/8
  • COMP-ABSS: 9/8
  • COMP-APS: 9/22
  • COMP-NET: 8/25
  • CONT-PLNG: 7/24, 8/5, 9/11
  • CSE-AAES: 8/4

~~~

  • FF-ADV: 7/28, 9/22
  • FL: 8/1, 9/5
  • FRB: 9/22

~~~

  • GMDSS: 8/4
  • HAZ: 8/25
  • ISM/REG-UPDT: 8/4
  • LAP: 7/28

~~~

  • MED-DOT-DA: 7/26, 8/16, 8/30, 9/20
  • MEDIA-RSP: 7/25, 8/6, 8/29, 9/12
  • MED-PIC: 7/21, 8/11
  • MED-PRO: 7/21, 8/11
  • MED-SMC: 9/1
  • MSC-ATER: 8/20
  • MSC-CBRD-1: 8/18, 9/26
  • MSC-COMMS: 8/11
  • MSC-DC: 8/9, 8/21, 9/13, 9/18
  • MSC-ENVPRO: 8/18

~~~

  • ROP: 8/25
  • ROR-1: 8/4, 9/15, 9/22

~~~

  • SEC-MAR: 8/7
  • SEC-OFF PCS: 7/21, 8/18, 9/8,9/22
  • SHS-BAS: 7/28, 9/15
  • SHS-EMR5: 8/18

~~~

  • T-PIC: 9/22

Check the MITAGS website for descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations.

 

REMINDER: Attendance Verification & Cancellation is Vital

If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.

 

Schedules, Course Info & Registration

Courses are subject to change. Always check the MITAGS website for updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.org or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Summer Class Openings

  • 7/30-31: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
  • 7/28-8/8: Advanced Cargo Handling and Stowage
  • 7/2/-8/1: ARPA

~~~

  • 8/4-8: Basic and Adv. Firefighting
  • 8/18-22: VPEN
  • 8/18-22: ARPA & Basic Safety Training
  • 8/18-29: Medical Person in Charge
  • 8/25-29: TPIC

~~~

  • 9/1-5: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 9/1-12: GMDSS
  • 9/3-5: Ship Security Officer
  • 9/8-12:Basic Safety Training
  • 9/15-19: VPEN, Basic and Adv. Firefighting
  • 9/22-6: ECDIS, Ship Construction and Stability

Contact DeeDee Lazik at 206-441-2880 or 888-893-7829 (toll free) for registration.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 7-16 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,094.50

– 61.70 for the week

 1,747.97

 + 0.51 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 91.89

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

22.97

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 13.59

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 13.31

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 23.22

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.58

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 6.23

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.37

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

13.75

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

15.04

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 32.92

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 89.29

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  35.25

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



~ Reminders ~


 

 

MEMBERS AND FAMILIES GET SPECIAL SUMMER RATES AT MITAGS

By popular demand, and for a limited time only, MITAGS is opening up its renowned conference center hotel to MM&P members and their families at a very affordable rate. This is the first time MITAGS has made their facilities available as a vacation destination for MM&P members.

Centrally located just south of Baltimore, MITAGS is within easy reach of the many top tourist attractions found in the Washington DC, Baltimore, Annapolis, southern Pennsylvania and northern Virginia area. MITAGS is just five minutes from BWI Airport, a leading hub for low-cost airlines such as Southwest and Air Tran. The BWI Amtrak Station is also just minutes away.

MM&P member summer rates are just $85 per night, per room. Occupancy is limited to member, spouse and two children. Complimentary full breakfast buffet and free shuttle service to BWI Airport or Amtrak are included.

For more info or reservations contact the MITAGS reservation department at 410-859-5700 extension 0, or Email: reservations@ccmit.org.

Be sure to mention this special when making your reservation. Offer is based on availability and only valid June 1 through September 10.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

SPECIAL RATES FOR UNION MEMBERS AT ORLANDO DISNEY HOTEL

As a special summer promotion for union members at the Hotel Royal Plaza, a unionized hotel located in the heart of Downtown Disney, the rate for a standard room has been reduced to just $69.

Rates are in effect from June 1 to September 30 and do not include a resort fee of $7 per room, per night. Kids 12 and under eat free breakfast, lunch and dinner when accompanied by a paying adult.

For more info, call 1-800-248-7890 or go to their website at www.royalplaza.com. Call early for reservations as rooms are subject to availability and make sure to ask for the Union Leisure Rate.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MM&P MEMBERS AT SEA CAN NOW SAVE ON SHIP-TO-SHORE CALLS

Through a special arrangement with ShipCom, MM&P members at sea will now receive a significant discount on personal ship-to-shore radiotelephone calls. The rate is $2.50 per minute to any phone number in the US. This is a significant discount from the usual rate of $3.99 per minute. Calls may be placed collect, or billed to any major credit card.

To take advantage of this offer or for more info contact Station WLO on HF SSB channels 405, 607, 824, 1212, 16401, 1807, or 2237 or on HF radio telex channels (selcall 1090) 406, 606, 806, 810, 815, 1205, 1211, 1605, 1615, 1810 or 2215.

MM&P members must identify themselves as an MM&P member and provide the operator with the last 4 digits of their MM&P book number in order to get the discounted rate.

Any vessel equipped with HF radio telex may send and receive Internet email via the telex terminal. For more info contact WLO radio via telex or HF SSB voice.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

 


 

MM&P HQ MEMO TO ALL OFFSHORE MEMBERS AND APPLICANTS

Effective for employment commencing on or after April 10, 2003 and until further notice, any Member or Applicant who is known to have shipped as a Licensed Deck Officer aboard a vessel under contract with another labor organization shall lose his/her shipping card and be required to re-register prior to seeking employment with MM&P.

Members and Applicants are advised that such action jeopardizes their standing in Masters, Mates & Pilots. Members and Applicants are urged to contact MM&P if they are solicited for offshore employment by other labor organizations. Any Licensed Deck Officer employment with other labor organizations must be dispatched through Masters, Mates & Pilots.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

TAX RELIEF FOR OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM CIVILIAN MARINERS

Qualified merchant mariners serving on vessels under Department of Defense operational control in direct support of US Armed Forces have been determined by the IRS to be eligible for the benefits of section 7508 of the Internal Revenue Code. 26 U.S.C. §7508.

This includes individuals, (including the spouse of such individuals) serving in the combat zone as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom aboard Maritime Administration and Military Sealift Command owned or controlled vessels.

Mariners are advised to consult their tax professionals with respect to the impact of this relief with respect to their individual situations.

Only mariners serving in the combat zone are covered. At present, the combat zone for Operation Iraqi Freedom is defined as follows:

  • Persian Gulf;
  • Red Sea;
  • Gulf of Aden; and
  • Gulf of Oman;
  • That portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees north latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude; and
  • The total land area of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Section 7508(a)(1) permits the postponement of certain time-sensitive acts for individuals serving in support of the Armed Forces in a designated combat zone. Activities specifically mentioned include the filing of tax returns, the payment of income, estate, or gift taxes (except employment and withholding taxes), tax claims filings or bringing suits for credits or refunds, filing any petition with the US Tax Court, making a qualified retirement contribution to an IRA, or performing any other act listed in Revenue Procedure 2002-71.

Detailed information can be obtained by consulting Publication 3 Armed Forces’ Tax Guide (2002 Returns). The Guide can be obtained by contacting the IRS or from the IRS website, www.irs.gov.

These benefits are afforded to the spouse of a qualified individual without any requirement that the individual and spouse file a joint return. Taxpayers within the US may seek assistance by calling the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040. Taxpayers outside the US may call the IRS in Philadelphia, PA., at 215-516-2000 or via fax at 215-516-2555 (these are not toll free numbers).

More detailed info can be found on the MARAD website at: marad.dot.gov/Publications/employment/marinertaxes.html.

For MM&P members at sea who might have difficulty accessing the MARAD website, the MM&P Communications Department will Email this info to you upon request. Email requests to: communications@bridgedeck.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

CLARIFICATION OF DRUG FREE CERTIFICATE FOR MMD RENEWAL

Mariners renewing their licenses, Z-cards, other Merchant Marine Documents or Coast Guard credentials are advised that under the USCG’s national credentialing requirements, Coast Guard offices and Regional Exam Centers require “Drug Free Certificates” on stationery from a drug testing service agent. Drug testing service agents are defined in 49 CFR Part 40 (available for download at: www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/main/CFRintro.htm). Drug test certifications issued by other parties, such as health plans, will no longer be accepted.

Upon request, drug testing service agents will send “Drug Free Certificates” on their own stationary to merchant marine personnel so that they can satisfy the USCG drug test requirement for credential transactions.

MM&P members and applicants are advised that request forms for this purpose are available at MM&P port offices along with info on drug testing facilities. This is a nationwide USCG credentialing requirement and this notice is a clarification of info originally provided in the February 27, 2003 Wheelhouse Weekly, Volume 7 Number 9.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

LATEST USCG INFO ON PRIORITY SYSTEM FOR MMD CARDS

Applications for Merchant Mariner Documents can no longer be completed entirely through the mail. Applicants must now appear in person at a USCG Regional Exam Center to prove their identity and provide fingerprints. The following priority system has been implemented:

  • Priority One is assigned to mariners who are, or are about to be, employed on a vessel directly involved in a military operation. A letter from a shipping company, labor union, ship management company, or government agency attesting to the ship’s military purpose and the mariner’s position is needed for this priority.
  • Priority Two is given to mariners who are actively sailing. Evidence of current or scheduled employment on board a vessel, such as a letter or recent certificate of discharge is needed for this priority.
  • Priority Three is for all other transactions based on date of receipt.

Contact the National Maritime Center for additional info or questions at 202-493-6798.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

GENERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD CLARIFIES OFFSHORE QUOTA SYSTEM

During MM&P General Executive Board meetings held at MM&P HQ on January 15-16, 2003, the quota system established for admittance to the Offshore Membership Group was clarified to make it clear that this quota system does not apply to MM&P Offshore Unlicensed members.

On October 3-4, 2002, the GEB established quotas effective October 4, 2002, stating that “No member of any membership group, including the Offshore Unlicensed Membership Group, may transfer into the Offshore Licensed Membership Group without having been a member of the organization for at least as long as the length of time that the lowest applicant admitted into membership has in the organization.” The wording of this statement was subsequently determined to be incorrect.

On January 16, 2003, the GEB corrected the quota guidelines to read:

“No member of any MM&P membership group, except for members of the MM&P Offshore Unlicensed Membership Group, may transfer into the Offshore Licensed Membership Group without having been a member of the organization for at least as long as the length of time that the lowest applicant admitted into membership has in the organization.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN CHANGES EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2003

The following Health and Benefit Plan changes went into effect on April 1, 2003.

 

INPATIENT HOSPITAL DEDUCTIBLE

All inpatient hospitalizations (both PPO and non-PPO) will be subject to the Annual Major Medical Deductible ($250 individual/$500 family) and an additional inpatient deductible of $150 per admission. Both the Annual Deductible and the $150 inpatient deductible count towards the individual out of pocket maximum of $3,000.

 
REIMBURSEMENT FOR INPATIENT HOSPITAL EXPENSE

The Plan will pay 90% for all PPO hospitals after satisfying Major Medical deductible and $150 per admission inpatient deductible. The Plan will pay 70% for all non-PPO hospitals after satisfying the Annual Major Medical deductible and $150 per admission deductible.

 

IN-NETWORK (PPO) PHYSICIAN VISITS

For Primary Care Physician visits, after satisfying the annual Major Medical deductible, the participant pays a $15 co-pay per visit and the Plan pays the balance of the contracted amount. For specialty visits, after satisfying the annual Major Medical deductible, the participant pays a $25 co-pay and the Plan pays the balance of the contracted amount. The co-pay amount does not count towards the $3,000 annual out of pocket maximum.

 

OUT-OF-NETWORK PHYSICIANS

Once the participant satisfies the annual Major Medical deductible and an additional $150 annual out of network physician deductible, the Plan will pay 90% of the UCR. For specialists, once the participant satisfies the Major Medical deductible, the Plan will pay 70% of the UCR.

 

OUTPATIENT FACILITY – IN NETWORK (PPO)

After the participant satisfies the annual Major Medical deductible, the Plan pays 90% of the contracted charges.

 

OUTPATIENT FACILITY – OUT-OF-NETWORK

After the participants satisfies the annual Major Medical deductible, the Plan will pay 70% of the UCR charges.

 

As always, please feel free to contact the Plan Benefit Advisors with any questions at 877-667-5522.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

 

HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN CHANGES

The Board of Trustees, based on recommendations by the Cost Containment Committee, adopted changes to the Health & Benefit Plan. The following changes became effective January 1, 2003:

Annual Deductible

The current annual deductible of $150/$300 will be raised to $250/$500.

Out-of-Pocket Maximum

The current out of pocket maximum of $2,000 will be raised to $3,000.

Dental Reimbursement Levels

  • The Plan payment to in-network dental providers will go from 90% to 80%.
  • The Plan payment for out-of-network providers will go from 80% of UCR to 70% of UCR.
  • New contract with Delta Dental replaces Aetna/US Healthcare (Prudential Dental) agreement. See below for additional information.

Prescription Drug Program

Mail order drugs will be subject to a 20% co-pay for all single source brand name and generic drugs with a maximum out of pocket, per prescription, of $75.

For brand name drugs where the generic equivalent is available, the member will be responsible for paying the total cost of the difference between the brand name and the generic drug. The Plan will then pay 80% of the cost of the generic and the member will be responsible for the 20% up to a per prescription maximum of $75.

The Plan has also removed the mandatory mail order provision. This means that any prescription, regardless of the number of refills, can be obtained at a retail level but will be limited to a 30-day supply. However, obtaining maintenance medications through the mail order program may still be less expensive to you.

A synopsis of these changes and additional changes effective April 1, 2003 appears in the November-December 2002 issue of the MM&P’s Master, Mate & Pilot newspaper. The Plan Office has also mailed a summary of all changes, with examples, to Health & Benefit Plan participants.




ADDRESS CHANGES

Remember to notify the Plan office whenever you move or have a change of address. There are a number of important mailings scheduled for the next few months and we would like to keep all members well informed. You can fax your address changes to the Plan Office at 410-850-8655 or you can email them to the Plan Office at mmpplans@aol.com.

 




 

NEW DENTAL PROGRAM WITH DELTA DENTAL

This is a reminder that effective October 1, 2002, the MM&P Plan’s contract with Prudential Dental expired. Prudential was purchased by Aetna/US HealthCare in 2001 and could no longer offer the Plan the same type of fee-for-service arrangement as before.

In order to continue to offer Plan Participants an in-network dental benefit option, the Plan reviewed proposals from organizations that provide network dental services. After review, the Trustees approved a contract with Delta Dental, the largest provider of dental services in the US.

The Delta Dental Claims Processing Center in Mechanicsburg, PA, will handle claims administration for all MM&P eligible participants and dependents. This includes claims submitted by out of network dentists as well as those who are Delta Dental providers.

Plan participants who choose to go to a contracted provider will pay 10 percent of the contracted amount and the Plan will pay 90 percent. Participants will have access to all Delta providers in the Delta Premier Network option that includes over 133,000 dentists nationwide.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

~ Where Does My Dentist Submit My Claims?

Effective October 1, 2002, all dental claims with dates of service on or after October 1, 2002, from both in and out-of-network providers, should be sent directly to: Delta Dental, One Delta Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6999. Participants will receive a claim form in the mailing sent out by the Plan Office on August 11. Your dentist can copy this form and use it to submit all dental claims incurred on or after October 1, 2002.

~ How Do I Find A Delta Dentist?

You can locate participating dentists in your area in two ways. You can call 1-800-932-0783 from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time, Monday-Friday, or you can sign on to the Delta website at www.MidAtlanticDeltaDental.com. Once you have signed on to the website, key on the bar marked “Pennsylvania”. (MM&P Plan members are enrolled in the Delta Premier Option through Delta Dental of Penn.) Next enter the search criteria to find participating Delta dentists in your area or enter your own dentist’s name to find out if he/she participates with the Premier network.

 

WORK IN PROCESS

Delta Dental will coordinate with the Plan Office to transition all billing for “work in process”. This means that all root canals, orthodontia work and other staged procedures that are not completed under the old arrangement will be carried over and the remaining balance billing, for work performed on or after October 1, 2002 will be processed by Delta Dental.

It is important to remember that all work that has been pre-determined by Prudential/Aetna must be completed and billed with a billing date on or prior to September 30, 2002, in order to assure that your co-pay will remain the same as quoted in the initial pre-determination.

Any work started under the old Plan but billed for date of service on or after October 1, 2002 will be reimbursed according to whether the dentist is participating in the Delta Dental network. If your dentist is not a participating dentist, the balance billing will be paid at the out-of-network rate of 80 percent of the Plan’s UCR schedules.

 

CLAIMS QUESTIONS

All questions about any dental claims incurred on or after October 1, 2002, including claims submitted by out-of-network providers, should be directed to Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783. You have been provided with a Delta claim form to forward to your dentist, however, your dentist may submit any standard dental billing form as long as the bill is sent directly to Delta at the above listed address.

 

IDENTIFICATION CARDS

Participants have been sent a brochure that includes a perforated generic identification card. This card lists the telephone number and the billing address for Delta. You are not required to carry an identification card because your social security number and birth date will identify you as an eligible participant in the Delta Dental Network.

It is important to remember that MM&P claims will be processed by Delta Dental of Pennsylvania. You or your dentist can access your eligibility by calling either the Plan Office or Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783.

If you or your dentist have any questions, you can contact Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Plan members are identified by social security number and the Group Plan number for MM&P which is 7117.

Billing for both in and out of network claims should be submitted on standard dental billing forms and sent directly to Delta at

Delta Dental of Pennsylvania One Delta Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

You can locate participating providers on-line at www.MidAtlanticDeltaDental.com. Masters, Mates and Pilots members have access to providers in all of the Delta networks.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

CREDIT UNION MEMBERS: PAY YOURSELF FIRST WITH DIRECT DEPOSIT

  • Do you want an easy way to grow your savings?
  • Do you want an easier way to make deposits to your Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union account?

Consider establishing payroll or pension direct deposit.

Many employers allow you to directly deposit your pay into several different financial institutions. Trinity Management, Strong America, Moran Towing of Florida, and McAllister Brothers are among the MM&P-contracted companies that already provide for employees to deposit funds directly into the MM&P Federal Credit Union.

MM&P Health & Benefit Plans Pensioners and A&G Region Pensioners may have deductions made directly from their pension check to their Credit Union account. In addition, employees of MM&P, Plans, MITAGS and MIRAID are also eligible for payroll deduction directly into their Credit Union account.

Add to your savings by paying yourself first! Contact your payroll office to establish Credit Union direct deposit or to find out if this is available for you. For additional details or to get answers to your questions on this or other MM&P Federal Credit Union programs, contact Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, toll-free at 1-800-382-7777 or by Email at mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org.

 

 

NEW, USED OR REFI: LOW VEHICLE LOAN RATES AT MM&P FCU

Members are reminded that the Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union is offering vehicle loans as low as 5.25 percent. Rates range from 5.25 to 6.99 percent for terms of 24 to 60 months. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a new, used or a refinanced vehicle.

These rates are also in effect for new or used recreational vehicles, motorcycles or boats. Limited funds available at this rate, certain terms and conditions apply.

MM&P Federal Credit Union membership is open to all MM&P members, to all MM&P, MITAGS, MIRAID and Plans staff, and to their immediate families.

Rates and terms of offer are subject to change. Call Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, toll free 1-800-382-7777 or Email mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org for all the details.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex andis posted on our web page.

Return to Top