Wheelhouse Weekly – December 14, 2001

December 14th 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

Volume 5. . . . . Number 50. . . December 14, 2001





Members should take note and plan accordingly for the upcoming MM&P HQ, Plans and Port office holiday closings:

MM&P HQ will be closed on Dec.24-25 for the Christmas holiday and one-half day on Dec. 31 and all day on Jan.1.

The Plans Office will be closed on Dec. 24-25 for Christmas and one-half day on Dec.31 and all day on Jan.1.

All Offshore Port Offices will be closed on Dec. 24-25 and on Dec 31 and Jan 1. All PROs must be dispatched on the Fridays before (Dec.21st and 28th).

The Great Lakes and Rivers Port Office will be closed Dec.24-25 and Dec.31 and Jan.1.

The Pacific Maritime Region Offices will close at noon on Dec.24 and be closed Dec. 25-26 and on Dec.31 and Jan.1.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



On November 28, the MM&P and the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association had an arbitration on behalf of civilian service mariners working for the Military Sealift Command. The issue at hand is obtaining a determination of whether or not MSC violates the Collective Bargaining Agreements, public law and the CMPI by promoting officers on a temporary basis in order to fill permanent demands, and by processing personnel actions that deny officers advancement opportunity, career progression and entitled pay and allowances.

Additionally, the Unions are seeking to determine if MSC violates the collective bargaining agreements and the CMPI by disbursing funds to fill a position even though that position is not authorized on a manning scale.

The matter was brought before the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for arbitration after numerous attempts to settle the matter through the grievance process were unsuccessful. Arbitration is one of the final steps taken when the issue can not be settled through the established grievance and collective bargaining procedures. MM&P and MEBA were represented by Government Employees’ Representative Randi Ciszewski and by MM&P Associate Counsel Gabriel Terrassa.

At issue is MSC’s practice of hiring all deck and engine officers at the lowest possible rate in the fleet, which is the tug rate or Class “C”. It is the Unions’ position that employees have only a 7-10 percent chance of ever sailing on a tug. During a 30 year career, the vast majority of officers will not sail on a tug; however, their base rate of pay and all other allowances, including leave and retirement, are paid at the Class C tug rate while the employee is in a duty status and not assigned to a vessel.

During the arbitration, MSC responded to the Unions’ position by stating that they are charged as a keeper of public funds and that they believe that the flexibility provided to them by hiring at the lower rate and temporarily promoting an officer — for each and every assignment — is in keeping with the public interest. They contended that the practice was a cost savings measure, said Randi Ciszewski.

The Unions raised serious objections to the agency’s response, contending that the law takes precedence over management’s discretion. Further, it is the Unions’ contention that by hiring personnel in at a low wage and benefit scale for which there are very few jobs, MSC has done harm to recruitment and retention of mariners. It is anticipated that the Arbitrator should render a decision in early spring of 2002.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The 2001 annual meeting of the Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union will be held on Tuesday, December 18 at 10:00 AM. The meeting will be held in the cafeteria of the Plans building, 5700 Hammonds Ferry Road, Linthicum Heights, MD. All interested members are asked to attend. There will be a drawing for a door prize.

At the meeting, Credit Committee, Supervisory Committee and Treasurer’s reports will be presented on the general status of the Credit Union. During the meeting, the floor will be opened for individuals wishing to volunteer to serve on the board of directors, or on one of the committees.

There are currently two vacancies on the board of directors. Credit Union members in the greater Baltimore area are encouraged to consider volunteering. Members interested in serving in one of these capacities may also contact the Credit Union directly for additional information.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



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. CSX is making this option available to members after January 1, 2002.

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Ceridian Life Balance, the EAP provider for the MM&P Plans is offering free 2002 wall calendars that contain monthly helpful hints on maintaining balance in your daily life.

To receive a calendar free of charge, send an Email with your name and address to

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Senator John Kerry (D-MA) recently introduced S. 1759, the Putting Americans First Act to put assistance into the hands of dislocated workers by empowering the states to expand unemployment insurance eligibility and increase benefits, and expand health care coverage for displaced workers.

With so many state budgets headed into the red in these tough economic times, Sen. Kerry feels it is critical that we pass this legislation right away to help states help those workers who are hurting get back on their feet.

S.1759 would increase the federal funding level for state Medicaid programs; direct federal money to states for their unemployment insurance program and expand eligibility for the program; cover 75 percent of the cost of Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) premiums; and reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) supplemental grants and contingency fund.

Some of the bill’s highlights include:

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: The bill would, for a period of one year, temporarily expand unemployment benefits for an additional 26 weeks for those who have exhausted their rights to regular benefits. It would provide coverage to certain unemployed workers that are not currently covered by the unemployment insurance system, such as those not eligible because recent wages are not counted or because of part-time employment. The provision would also increase all weekly unemployment benefits by 25% or $65, whichever is greater.

COBRA PREMIUMS: This proposal would provide a 75 percent premium subsidy for displaced workers who are eligible for continued health insurance coverage under COBRA. Displaced workers would be defined as those who lost their jobs after Sept. 11, 2001. They would be entitled to the premium subsidy for one year.

MEDICAID: This proposal would create a state option to offer Medicaid coverage to displaced workers (those laid off after Sept. 11), who are not eligible for COBRA and who are low income. All states would receive a federal Medicaid matching rate increase of 1.5 percent. States with high unemployment rates would receive a matching rate increase to 3 percent.

Sen. Kerry is working hard in partnership with Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) in the House to pass this legislation and force Congress to vote on immediate, meaningful economic help for workers.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The AFL-CIO reports that more than 5,000 workers have been injured while clearing the site of the World Trade Center towers in New York. The rubble of the collapsed buildings is still burning in places and exposing workers to red-hot metal and chemicals such as asbestos, PCBs and carbon monoxide, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

On Nov. 20, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York signed an agreement with OSHA and several contractors to make the site safer. The agreement calls for safety training — including information on site-specific hazardous materials.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in Classes Through the End of the February 2002

  • 1/7-18: MED-PIC
  • 1/7-11: FF-ADV, BRM, ROP, TPIC
  • 1/12: ROR, CBRD-1
  • 1/14-18: FF-ADV, BRM, COMP-ABSS
  • 1/19: ROR
  • 1/21-2/1: GMDSS
  • 1/21-25: FF-ADV, BRM, ECDIS
  • 1/26: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 1/21-24: SMA
  • 1/28-2/1: FF-ADV, BRM, ARPA, COMP-NET
  • 2/2: ROR
  • 2/4-7: SMA
  • 2/4-8: HAZ, SHS-BAS, BRM, WX-HWA
  • 2/11-15: BST, ARPA
  • 2/11-22: MED-PIC
  • 2/16: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 2/18-22: FF-ADV, COMP-MAR
  • 2/25-3/1: BST, BRM
  • 2/25-27: SHS-EMR

Replacement Certificates

Certificates will only be reissued when there is a clear requirement mandating presentation of the certificate. Usually, this will be to support an application to the Coast Guard. In the case of company requirements, our operating companies will accept the MITAGS database, as reflected in the halls, as proof of completion. Requests for replacement certificates should be forwarded directly to the Registrar via mail, fax, or e-mail. State clearly the specific requirement that is driving the request. Actual certificates will only be reissued if the course completion is within the last five years. A letter will serve as documentation for courses beyond that.


Schedule Info

Schedule through June 2002 is being maintained on the website. Hard copies of the January-June 2002 schedule have been mailed to the halls. Check the MITAGS website at: for up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Medical Person-In-Charge

The first Medical Person-In-Charge course will commence on February 18, 2002 in Seattle. Successful candidates will receive STCW certificates in Elementary First Aid, Medical First Aid Provider and Medical Person in Charge. Registration is available on-line at

For further info, contact:

    Gregg Trunnell, Director Pacific Northwest Maritime Institute 2333 Third Avenue Seattle, WA 98121-1711

Phone: 206-239-9965; Fax: 206-441-2995; Email:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



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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: For further info contact John Peige at 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 under “News” at:

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