Wheelhouse Weekly – December 03, 2013

December 3rd 2013


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

Volume 17 . . . Number 49 . . . Dec. 3, 2013


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


MM&P congratulates the winners of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) election, as posted on the MEBA website, The winners include: H. Marshall Ainley, President; Bill Van Loo, Secretary-Treasurer; Adam Vokac, Executive Vice President; Chris Guerra, Atlantic Coast Vice President; Phillip Sistrunk, Gulf Coast Vice President.

“MM&P pledges to work together with the new MEBA administration,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. “Our union’s commitment to collective efforts with MEBA to protect and enhance terms of employment for all ships officers will continue.”


Labor unions and other groups that oppose the Transpacific Trade Partnership (TPP)–a mega-free-trade deal involving 12 countries–are hailing news that three-fourths of the Democrats in the House of Representatives have told President Obama they oppose giving his administration “fast track authority” to move forward on the project without substantive Congressional review. A number of House Republicans are also expressing opposition to the proposal.

The 20th round of negotiations on the 12-nation pact ended in mid-November without a final deal being reached. Trade ministers from each of the countries involved will meet again Dec. 7-10. The 29-chapter pact covers government procurement, tariffs, quotas, financial regulations, food safety, energy exports, Internet freedom and drug patents, among other things. 

The Obama Administration and other parties to the negotiations have attempted to keep details of the TPP secret. But opponents say leaked information shows the President has not kept his 2008 campaign promises to protect “Buy America” government procurement preferences and to insist on enforcement of International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions. Critics also say copyright provisions in the TPP would limit Internet freedom and impose new restrictions on how people can use digital devices. Others charge TPP would inflate prices for medications by extending drug patents.

A September study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that any gains associated with the TPP would go to the top 5 to 10 percent of American households, with the bottom 90 percent of the country experiencing a net loss under the agreement in the form of reduced wages. “The TPP is a trade agreement of, by and for the one percent,” said Lauren Steiner, who has helped organize demonstrations against the pact. “People are sick of politicians in the pocket of big business who continue to push these corporate power grabs disguised as trade agreements.”

“Passing the TPP will result in more American jobs being outsourced to foreign countries, more downward pressure on the wages of American workers, the continued erosion of workers’ rights in the United States and a significant weakening of Buy American provisions,” says Ernie Pacheco, a spokesperson for the Communications Workers of America.

Three-fourths of House Democrats sent a letter to the President on Nov. 13 informing him that they would oppose “fast track” procedures he has requested to circumvent ordinary Congressional review, amendment and debate procedures. “We will oppose ‘Fast Track’ Trade Promotion Authority or any other mechanism delegating Congress’ constitutional authority over trade policy that continues to exclude us from having a meaningful role in the formative stages of trade agreements,” they wrote.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), who is rallying Democrats against the deal, says many are concerned about the plan’s impact on jobs. “We’ve lost a lot of manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin, largely due to bad trade deals in the past,” says Pocan. “This has been the wrong direction for our economy, the wrong direction for good-paying middle class jobs, and so it became a priority for me coming to Congress.”

Many of the congressional representatives who have gone on record against fast track authority for the President are disturbed by the general lack of transparency surrounding the negotiating process. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has conducted its TPP negotiations in secret and, with the exception of some individual chapters leaked to the press, the content of the TPP is known only to the negotiators and to trade advisors who are barred from disclosing information–even to members of Congress–unless they are on the relevant committees.


You may not be ready to go entirely paperless, but chances are good you’re hanging on to a lot more dead trees than you should, says Kathy Klisavage of the MM&P Federal Credit Union. Now is a great time to remedy that. After you’ve filed your tax return, you can get serious about reducing your financial clutter–now and in the future. Here’s what you need to know.

Tax documents:                Keep tax returns, as well as supporting documents like W-2 forms, receipts and real estate closing statements for seven years. The IRS may audit you within three years if it suspects good-faith errors; six years if it believes you underreported your income by at least 25 percent; and unlimited time if you did not file a return or filed a fraudulent one.

Investment records: Keep as long as you own the securities, plus another seven years. You’ll need them to prove capital gains and losses.

Bank statements: One month. You just need these long enough to check the accuracy of the transactions. Unless the statement is your only record for a tax-related transaction, there’s no need to keep them longer. Plus, your bank will have them available online. 

Retirement plan statements: Most, one year, for tax purposes. Keep Roth IRA statements until you retire, to prove you already paid tax on your contributions.

Credit card statements: Shred immediately after checking the accuracy of the transactions. These documents are a prime source for identity theft. Unless the statement is your only record for a tax-related transaction, there’s no need to keep them longer. Plus, your issuer will have them available online.

Paychecks: One year, until you receive your W-2.

Bills: One year, for tax purposes.

W-2 forms: Until you begin claiming Social Security. They’re the best estimate of your earnings and entitlements.

If in doubt about keeping a document or a piece of paper, make a file for it and file it. It is better to err on the side of caution. Those paper bills do not have to be kept. Insurance papers need to be kept, but when a new policy arrives get rid of the old one. When you get a new booklet listing insurance benefits recycle the old one. Out with the old and in with the new will save you a lot of time and space.

And remember: the MM&P Federal Credit Union offers surcharge-free ATMs, convenient loan rates and automated bill pay to MM&P members, employees and their families. It is a nonprofit financial organization owned and operated by its members for the benefit of all those who belong. Each member’s savings account is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for up to $250,000. 

The credit union can make loans for tuition, home improvements, tax payments, doctor bills, consolidation of debt and financing of durable goods, such as automobiles, boats, motorcycles and recreational vehicles.  Interest rates charged by the credit union are generally lower than rates offered at other financial institutions.

To find out more about the credit union, go to and click on “Credit Union”; call toll free 800-382-7777, Monday – Thursday 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. and   Friday – 10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M or e-mail:


The schedule for MM&P Atlantic Ports holiday parties is as follows: Norfolk, Dec. 5; San Juan, Dec. 6; Charleston, Dec. 17; Boston, Dec. 19; New York/New Jersey, Dec. 20. All Atlantic Ports parties begin at noon. Most Atlantic Ports parties will begin with a brief membership meeting. The Norfolk party, which is a joint party with members of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA), also begins at noon but will not be preceded by a membership meeting.

The schedule of holiday parties for Gulf Ports is as follows: Houston, Dec. 19; Jacksonville, Dec. 13; Miami-Port Everglades, Dec. 16; New Orleans, Dec. 18.

The schedule of holiday parties for Pacific Ports is as follows: San Francisco/Oakland, Dec. 6; Los Angeles/Long Beach, Dec. 13 and Seattle, Dec. 18. The parties in Honolulu, Los Angeles/Long Beach and San Francisco/Oakland are joint parties with MEBA.


All union members are eligible for discounted service with AT&T wireless, the only unionized wireless service provider. In addition, union employees are eligible for benefits that include: unlimited usage of the AT&T national WI-FI network, at no additional charge; waived fees on new service; discounted fees on AT&T Mobile Share Plans, which allow you to share service on up to 10 mobile devices. AT&T Mobile Share Plans also give you unlimited talk and text for all phones in the plan. For more information, follow this link:


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) entered into force on Aug. 20. It has been described as the fourth pillar of international shipping regulations along with SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW.  The International Labor Organization consolidated a number of previous conventions in MLC 2006. It establishes minimum standards on conditions of employment, accommodations, health and safety, medical care, crew welfare, recruitment, working conditions and social security protection. MLC will be strictly enforced during port state control inspections, including the potential for more detailed inspections and possible detention where hazardous conditions may exist if ships are not to be in compliance. Visit for more information or to register for the MLC course.


MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below.

New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation:

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/21/14

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/6/14

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 12/16/13, 1/27/14, 3/24/14

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/4/14, 3/3/14

BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/20/14, 2/10/14

CHS-BAS – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/14/14

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/27/14

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 12/2/13, 2/24/14

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 2/3/14

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/10/14

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 2/10/14

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 12/2/13, 12/16/13, 1/27/14, 2/24/14

CMM-LDRSHP – Management, Communication, & Leadership (Management Level): 3/17/14

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants:  1/20/14

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 1/6/14

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 12/2/13, 1/6/14, 2/17/14, 3/10/14

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/9/13, 1/13/14, 2/24/14, 3/17/14

CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 12/9/13, 3/3/14

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 12/16/13, 1/27/14

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 4/28/14

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop:

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/27/14

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/5/14

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit:

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/20/14, 2/10/14

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep & Medications:  1/8/14, 2/3/14

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/24/14

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/17/14

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 12/2/13, 1/13/14

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes:  1/27/14

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 12/2/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/22/14, 3/5/14

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership

MCL OICNW –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/5/14, 10/7/14

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop:  2/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/2/13, 1/6/14, 2/17/14, 3/17/14

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/27/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 12/2/13, 1/6/14, 2/17/14, 3/17/14

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/7/13, 1/11/14, 1/25/14, 3/22/14

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 12/13-12/14/13(evening), 3/14/14

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 12/19/13, 3/10/14

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification:  12/9/13, 3/10/14



*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 12/16/13

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/13/14, 2/3/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/20/14

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 12/4/13, 12/11/13, 1/8/14, 1/22/14, 2/5/14, 2/19/14, 3/6/14, 3/20/14

SAR – Search & Rescue

SEC-MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: 12/10/13 PM

SEC-VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 12/11/13

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 12/12/13, 2/4/14

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling:  2/10/14

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/20/14, 3/3/14

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/5/14

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/6/14

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  2/24/14

TTT – Train the Trainer: 4/7/14

WKP-BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 3/3/14

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 2/24/13

…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 for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

December 2013

9-13          ECDIS
11th          Med DOT

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: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2013, 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: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at