News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 29, 2008

September 29th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 39. . . .September 29, 2008

STORIES COVERED

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.


MM&P HOUSTON STILL GUEST OF MEBA HALL

Many thanks to the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and its Houston staff for the hospitality they have shown to the Masters, Mates & Pilots in the wake of Hurricane Ike. The decision to move MM&P’s operations temporarily into the MEBA Hall, located at 316 Broadway, was made because the hurricane caused significant structural damage to the Houston Pilots building, which up to then had housed local MM&P operations. We want to extend a special thank you to MEBA Branch Agent Dana Woodruff, Patrolman Mike Dunklin, Dispatcher Erin Bertram and the many Houston MEBA members who have welcomed MM&P staff into their office and made us feel at home.

MM&P Houston is now able to use its regular phone number: 713-649-8812. For the duration of our stay with MEBA, please send mail to our new temporary address: P. O. Box 5519, Pasadena, TX 77508. For e-mail, during this transition period, it’s a good idea to send messages to both wfarthing@bridgedeck.org and nwilkerson@bridgedeck.org.


PIRATES ATTACK USNS FLEET OILER JOHN LENTHALL; COALITION WARSHIPS TO PATROL ZONE

The U.S. Navy said pirates tried to attack one of its large military oil tankers, JOHN LENTHALL, last Wednesday. A spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet said that a security team aboard the vessel opened fire on three small boats near Somalia after they ignored warnings and pursued the ship. The Navy spokesman said the Military Sealift Command (MSC) oil tanker, with MM&P-licensed deck officers on board, was transiting outside Somalia’s territorial waters when the incident took place. The skiffs reportedly came within 400 yards of the tanker despite numerous warnings from the larger vessel. The Navy spokesman said there were no reports of casualties. Armed Somali pirates have hijacked more than 40 merchant vessels off the Horn of Africa country this year and are still holding over 100 mariners hostage.

A Japanese oil tanker narrowly escaped and a Greek bulker with a crew of 25 was hijacked off Somalia’s coast. Two weeks ago, French commandos freed two hostages in a siege that left one pirate dead. In June, the U.N. Security Council passed a unanimous resolution that will allow foreign warships to enter Somalia’s territorial waters for the purpose of repressing acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea. In response to the increase in attacks, the British and United States are leading a coalition of warships in the region.


BARACK OBAMA BEST CHOICE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY, SAY AFL-CIO TRANSPORTATION UNIONS

After spending months examining the votes, speeches and statements of the candidates for President, the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD) is working hard to educate union members on “the stark contrast” between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain. “The worst transportation presidency in modern history is coming to a close,” said TTD President Edward Wytkind in an official statement. “John McCain promises us four more years of the same: neglect, under-investment and a lack of leadership.”

An analysis of McCain’s 25 years of transportation votes reveals “a politician who doesn’t understand the severe transportation investment gap that is threatening our economy and routinely calls crucial investments in transportation ‘wasteful spending,’” Wytkind said. The research also reveals McCain’s history of opposing job creation and collective bargaining rights. Wytkind said McCain is “routinely on the wrong side of finding solutions to America’s severe transportation problems.” He said Obama is the only candidate talking about rebuilding our infrastructure, dealing with key safety and security issues, supporting the rights of workers and creating jobs.

The delegates to the 82nd MM&P Convention voted unanimously to endorse Obama on the basis of his strong support for the U.S.-flag maritime industry and America’s working families. All the country’s seagoing and longshore unions have come forward in support of Obama.


MESSAGE FROM MM&P FCU: CREDIT UNION DEPOSITS INSURED BY GOVERNMENT

Following President Bush’s speech last week on the nation’s economy, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is reminding consumers that the money of virtually all credit union members is protected by federal insurance coverage that is similar to that provided banks by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). “Regrettably, President Bush did not mention this important aspect of the federal safety net in his comments to the nation,” said CUNA President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Mica. “It’s important for the millions of credit union members across the nation to know their money is as safe and sound as any deposits in federally insured banks,” he said. Virtually every credit union in the nation has federal deposit insurance. Just like FDIC insurance at banks, savings are insured to at least $100,000. The federal insurance safety net at credit unions is provided by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. government agency. Credit union insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. “No one with savings at a federally insured credit union has ever lost a dime,” Mica said. CUNA has posted a video that explains federal credit union savings insurance at www.creditunion.coop.


USNS CARL BRASHEAR CHRISTENED

The seventh in the line of new Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ammunition ships, USNS CARL BRASHEAR, was christened Sept. 18 at San Diego’s NASSCO Shipyard. Civil Service Master of the vessel is MM&P member Michael Grogan. Other MM&P members aboard the vessel include Cargo Mate Brian Tague. The vessel is named in honor of Master Chief Petty Officer Carl Brashear, the first African-American to qualify and serve as a master diver in the Navy. Brashear’s story was the subject of the 2000 movie “Men of Honor,” which starred Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert De Niro. “I’m awestruck to have witnessed this launching and be even indirectly connected to this story of perseverance and selfless service,” said De Niro, who attended the christening. The 689-foot vessel is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in the second quarter of 2009. Its primary mission will be to deliver food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships at sea. MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski attended the christening for the Masters, Mates & Pilots and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association.


TWIC COMPLIANCE DATES SET FOR ALASKA, HAWAII

The Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have announced that Feb. 12, 2009, is the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) compliance date for owners and operators of facilities located in the Captain of the Port Zones of Honolulu, Prince William Sound, Southeast Alaska and Western Alaska. All ports in the state of Hawaii and the state of Alaska are affected.

Mariners can use a valid Coast Guard-issued merchant mariner’s document, license or certificate of registry, along with a valid photo ID, to be eligible for unescorted access in secure areas of any facility that has a TWIC compliance date earlier than April 15, 2009.  The date by which owners and operators of vessels and outer continental shelf facilities must implement access control procedures using TWIC is also April 15, 2009.

Workers are encouraged to pre-enroll for the TWIC card at www.tsa.gov/twic. The Coast Guard says that pre-enrollment speeds up the process by allowing workers to provide biographic information and to schedule a time to complete the application process in person. 


EUROPEAN DOCKERS PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR ALMOND WORKERS IN ILWU ORGANIZING CAMPAIGN

The dock workers who unload millions of pounds of Blue Diamond almonds across ports throughout Europe have announced their “unreserved support” for the workers of Blue Diamond Growers, who have been fighting for years to join the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). The dock workers, who like the ILWU and the Masters, Mates & Pilots are members of the International Transport Workers Federation, also urged Blue Diamond to meet workers’ demands for a free and fair election. The international dock workers say they “stand ready and willing to engage in whatever legal solidarity action is necessary” to support the Blue Diamond workers.

The dockers passed the resolution during the ITF Dockers’ Section strategic planning seminar meeting in Antwerp in mid-September. In response to workers’ efforts to seek representation from the ILWU, Blue Diamond Growers has conducted a four-year union-busting campaign, using tactics that include illegally interrogating, threatening, disciplining and dismissing union supporters, all in violation of the National Labor Relations Act.


MM&P APPLICANTS’ COURSE FOR D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP IN HONOLULU OCT. 1-2; COURSE SCHEDULE FOR OTHER HALLS TO BE ANNOUNCED

The course for MM&P applicants seeking to qualify for D-Book Membership will be held in Honolulu Oct. 1- 2, from 0900 to 1600. If you are interested in participating, please call the Honolulu Hall (808-523-8183) to reserve your seat. Class size is limited so sign up early. Courses in other MM&P halls will be announced in The Wheelhouse Weekly as soon as they are scheduled.

If you wish to be considered for D-Book status next year, you need to have completed this class, have four favorable recommendations, have paid the initiation fee and have at least 360 days sea time under MM&P contract. A packet detailing the requirements for D-Book Membership was recently mailed to all MM&P applicants. The packet includes four copies of an applicant evaluation form that can be given to the masters or chief mates who will write the letters of recommendation. If you have questions about D-Book Membership, please contact your Area Vice President, the MM&P Agent-Pacific Ports or MM&P Gulf Port Representative.


COAST GUARD ISSUES REMINDER ON NEW MEDICAL NVIC

The Coast Guard is advising applicants for credentials to take copies of its new medical evaluation NVIC to their doctors’ appointments “to ensure that any necessary additional information is submitted with their physical exam and the applications are ready to be evaluated at the National Maritime Center.” The NVIC 04-08 is posted at: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/2000s.asp#2008. If you have questions on using the NVIC, please e-mail MARINERMEDICAL@uscg.mil or call the Mariner Information Call Center at 1-888-IASKNMC (1-888-427-5662). The Coast Guard says incomplete medical information is one of the leading causes of delays in processing credential applications.

As an alternative to the remote certification system called for under the NVIC, MM&P and the other maritime unions have proposed a system of medical review that would allow examining medical professionals the discretion to certify mariners as fit for duty. In addition, MM&P has proposed legislation, now pending in Congress, which would require the Coast Guard to study the causes of casualties and to monitor trends to identify causes and contributing factors.  The objective is to develop effective safety improvement policies with respect to workload, manning, and medical review.


HOW TO APPLY FOR THE STCW 95 VESSEL SECURITY OFFICER ENDORSEMENT

As previously announced in The Wheelhouse Weekly, the Coast Guard is implementing a new rule that will require all mariners sailing in the position of vessel security officer (VSO) on foreign voyages to have a VSO endorsement by July 2009.  One of the regulations will require mariners to supply evidence of successful completion of a certified security course. That requirement is met by the MITAGS/PMI Vessel, Company, and Facility Security Officer (VCF) course as well as by its predecessor, the MITAGS/PMI Security Officer: Port, Company, and Ship (PCS) course (April 2003 to April 2005). Mariners who have taken courses other than these will need to complete additional training, such as a one-day security refresher course. If members took any VSO course at MITAGS before April 2003, they will need to take a refresher. For more information: visit the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org and click on the “Specialized Courses” tab at the top of the page; e-mail Admissions@mitags.org; or call 866-656-5568.

Here is the process for applying for the STCW95 VSO endorsement: first, fill out CG-719B Form and apply for an endorsement (include copies of your license, MMD, STCW, VSO Course Certificate—make sure you have taken an approved course–and a passport photo); mail the package to your local Coast Guard Regional Exam Center (REC), which will forward it to the National Maritime Center (NMC) in West Virginia.  


OCEAN TRASH PROBLEM GETTING WORSE

The United States and all the other members of the international maritime community should adopt a goal of “zero discharge” of waste into the marine environment, according to a new report issued by the National Research Council. The report said current measures to prevent and reduce marine debris are inadequate, and the problem will likely worsen. The committee found that despite all the regulations and limitations introduced over the course of the past 20 years, there are still large quantities of waste and litter in the oceans. “We concluded that the United States must take the lead and coordinate with other coastal countries, as well as with local and state governments, to better manage marine debris and try to achieve zero discharge,” said Keith Criddle, chair of the committee that wrote the report, and the Ted Stevens Distinguished Professor of Marine Policy at the Juneau Center for Fisheries and Ocean Science, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. While marine debris comes from sources both on land and at sea, the committee focused on debris discharged at sea for the purposes of the report. Under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex V, which entered into force in 1988, many discharges from ships are permissible at sea. The committee said this approach does not encourage innovation or measures to minimize waste. It suggested that MARPOL Annex V be amended to include a prohibition on discharge of garbage at sea, allowing for limited exceptions based on specific vessel-operation scenarios. Copies of the report, “Tackling Marine Debris in the 21st Century,” are available at www.nap.edu


SPECIAL FROM MAREX NEWSLETTER: WHAT A DAY!

In this article reprinted by special permission of “MarEx,” Coast Guard licensing expert Andy Hammond, who is also executive director of the Boston Harbor Pilot Association, “decodes” the Coast Guard’s Rules on Sea Service.

A day. Such a simple word with so many complex and historical meanings! In its most basic scientific explanation, a day is a unit of time equivalent to 24 hours. Historically it also represented the time it takes Earth to spin once on its axis. Since the shift to atomic timekeeping in 1955, the measurement of time and thus of a day has become an exact science. Without getting too technical, time is now measured by atomic resonance frequencies. So much for a simpler time when a day meant from sunrise to sunset!

What does a day have to do with mariners and licensing? From my experience conducting several thousand evaluations for the Coast Guard over the years, I can say that the question arises almost daily! (No pun intended) How many hours does it take to make a day of sea service? What if I’m underway for 24 hours? What if I sleep on my boat? All valid questions. The definition of a day as it pertains to Coast Guard licensing can be found in Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 10.103 (Definitions).

A day is used to calculate the amount of experience a mariner has on a particular vessel. There have been many discussions on what a day is. Many will tell you that to be credited with one day of service, anything over four hours is fine. While this may be the new norm in licensing circles, the Coast Guard’s definition is not that clear nor is it that liberal. A day is defined in the regulations as “eight hours of watch standing or day working, not to include overtime.”

I am not sure why the Coast Guard is concerned with the contractual arrangements between a mariner and his or her employer, but for some reason, overtime is clearly stated. Historically it may have stemmed from a specific incident in which a mariner was trying to gain as much experience as possible in the shortest period of time and some casualty caused by fatigue occurred. One way to combat that may have been to add this provision into the definition to take away that incentive. Although speaking from experience, when a mariner is at sea and overtime is made available, you take it! We all called on the sea as a profession for different reasons, but if you’re out on a ship, you worked as hard and as long as you could to make as much money as possible.

The definition goes on to state that “where a 12-hour workday is authorized and practiced, such as a six on—six off watch schedule, each workday MAY be creditable as one and a one-half days of service.” The Coast Guard has traditionally reserved this credit for segments of the maritime industry that it knows stand this type of watch rotation. Mariners employed on tug boats, dredges and offshore supply vessels have traditionally been granted this extra time without question. However, this too has begun to change with challenges by mariners and Coast Guard personnel alike. There are many segments of the maritime community that often “work” more than eight hours in a 24-hour period. Commercial fisherman, ferry boat crew, small passenger vessels and others have clearly documented that this credit should be granted. Even in the traditional “deep draft” world where mariners work a three-watch system, a “day” is not simply standing eight hours of watch. It never has been.

Getting back to the four-hour issue and where that came from. The last line in the definitions is the source of this confusion. The regulation states, “On vessels of less than 100 gross tons, a day is considered as eight hours unless the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection determines that the vessel’s operating schedule makes this criteria inappropriate, in no case will this period be less than four hours.” It is clear to me that the intent of this line was to allow mariners who worked on vessels in which an eight-hour day was not practical to seek a waiver, by the OCMI, on a case-by-case basis. In other words, the evaluator (who represents the OCMI) would determine that this criterion was met before crediting a day for anything less than eight hours. In no case should they credit anything less than four hours. I don’t interpret this definition as a blanket approval for all mariners on all vessels getting a day of credit for four hours of service. If that was the intent, why only a day and a half for a 12-hour day? Why not three days’ credit?

While there are many things to lose sleep over these days, this certainly isn’t one of them. However, when calculating your time, in days, be careful how you document your experience and know that the U. S. Coast Guard’s definition of a day is not such a simple and clearly defined amount of time. Unlike the Naval Observatories Atomic Clock!


IMMEDIATE OPENING FOR SIMULATION DEPARTMENT MANAGER AT PMI

The Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) in Seattle is seeking a Simulation Department Manager to maintain and operate its two full-mission simulators. A degree in computer science or equivalent experience is required; a Mate’s license is a plus, as are two or more years in network support systems, integration and simulation; a proven track record in programming, design or simulation desired. Please e-mail your resume to hr@mitags.org or send a fax to (443) 989-3341.


JOB OPENINGS FOR MM&P MEMBERS ON THE GREAT LAKES

There are job openings on the Great Lakes for MM&P members. Our contracted employers are seeking engineers and licensed mates with pilotage. Retirees are also encouraged to apply. The rules of the MM&P Pension Plan allow pensioners to accept without penalty employment–other than Covered Employment–aboard vessels covered by collective bargaining agreements with MM&P membership groups, on condition that the employment is first approved by MM&P. Interested parties should call 216-776-1667 or e-mail cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


PACIFIC MARITIME INSTITUTE SEEKS TPIC AND CARGO HANDLING INSTRUCTORS

MITAGS/PMI is accepting applications for TPIC and Cargo Handling contract instructors for employment at the Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle. The jobs, which are non-benefit positions, are an ideal opportunity for active or retired members to pass on their knowledge and experience. Applicants must meet Coast Guard approval requirements and have more than two years of experience in cargo handling or TPIC as senior mate/chief mate/master. Residence in Washington State or near PMI is a plus but not required. For more information, go to www.mates.org. Send resumes/ applications to hr@mitags.org or by fax to HR at (443) 989-3341.    


IMPORTANT NOTICE: COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for every new member to request a transcript review to determine whether he or she meets the course equivalency requirements. The courses that are eligible for “equivalency” are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide posted at www.mitags.org under the “MM&P Member” button. You can also request a copy from Diane Ford: dford@mitags.org or 443-989-3238. Remember, the dispatcher in the MM&P Hall cannot assign a job unless you meet the company training requirements.    


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of November, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS-1 � Automatic Identification System (1 day): 11/21
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 10/6

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 11/10
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/6

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 11/17
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 11/3
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/10
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 10/6
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/20

COMP-OPSYS � Basic Computer Operating Systems: 10/6

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 10/20
HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day) course: 10/27

LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/29, 10/7

MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 10/13, 11/16
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/13, 11/16
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/18, 11/15
MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 11/20

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 10/6, 11/3
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 Day): 11/10

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/17
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 10/16, 11/4
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/13, 11/17

…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 by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

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

September-October 2008
29-3 ROP
29-3 SHS BAS
6 ROR
6-10WKP BAS
7-10ARPA
13-17ECDIS
13-17TPIC
20-31GMDSS
20-24MED PRO
20-31MED PIC
22-26MED PRO
20FL

November 2008
3ROR
4-7ARPA
10-14MED PRO
10-21MED PIC
17-19SEC VCF

December 2008
1-5MED PRO
1-12GMDSS
1-12MED PIC
8-19GMDSS
15-19ECDIS
15-19TPIC

January 2009
7-11ENAV
7-11STB BAS
8-11ARPA
14-18WX BAS
14-25GMDSS
14-18ROP
14-2/1TC NAV
21-2/1WKP
21ROR
22-25ARPA
28-2/8GMDSS
28-2/1MED PRO

February 2009
4-8ROP
12ROR
11-12SAR
12-15ARPA
13-15EP
16FL
18-22ENAV
18-22MED PRO
18-22SHS BAS
18-29MED PIC
25-3/7 CNAV
25ROR

March 2009
3-14GMDSS
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
12-14EP
17-28GMDSS
24-4/4 GMDSS
24ROR
25-28ARPA

For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 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 9-26-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,143 2,183 1,213
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
55.82
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
111.65
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
34.61
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
18.90
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.80
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
25.80
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.35
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
27.87
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.19
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.29
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.02
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.17
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.48
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.21
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.66
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.89
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.38
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.78
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.89
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
29.55
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.70
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.37
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
19.83
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.58
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
66.40
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
16.97
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
61.87
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.12
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
36.47
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
30.35
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
22.94
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.65
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.50
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.86
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.12
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.20
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.69
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.00
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.81
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
32.79
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
43.09
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
27.02





~ 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. Suite B
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.

© 2008, 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.