Wheelhouse Weekly – December 19th, 2017

December 19th 2017

Volume 22… Number 51… Dec. 19, 2017


In This Issue:

Sad News:


News for MM&P Members:

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MM&P wishes all readers of The Wheelhouse Weekly, on land and at sea, and their families and friends, a happy holiday season.

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President Trump will seek a government-wide pay freeze for all civilian federal employees in 2019, according to a report released on Dec. 13 by Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Mainstream media outlets are reporting that the White House will also seek reductions in federal employee benefits and cuts to the number of paid holidays.

The pay freeze would be on top of Trump’s 2018 budget proposal to reduce the employer contribution to retirement benefits and to a House Republican plan to require retirees to pay more out of pocket for health insurance.

All the measures are facing strong opposition from Democrats in Congress and federal employee unions.

“The cuts and pay freezes being considered by this administration are expected, sadly, because this administration has been forthright in its poor opinion of working people and their families,” said Steve Lenkart, executive director of the National Federation of Federal Employees.

“These proposals undermine the value this country places on public service by targeting the income security of those who carry it out,” says Richard G. Thissen, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.

“Whether caring for our veterans, responding to disasters or just ensuring the day-to-day operation of democratic government, the work these individuals do is vital to our country, and it should be rewarded, not devalued.”

The pay freeze plan was contained in budget guidance from the Office of Management and Budget to the Homeland Security Department in response to the department’s funding request for 2019.

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Members of the Inland Boatmen’s Union (IBU) have elected Marina Secchitano, IBU San Francisco Regional Director, as the union’s new President.

“MM&P congratulates Marina Secchitano on her election as President of the IBU,” said MM&P President Don Marcus.

“We look forward to working with her administration and continuing the close cooperation between our two unions.”

“We also extend our best wishes to outgoing IBU President Alan Cote,” Marcus said.

“On behalf of all of us at MM&P, I want to thank him for enhancing the relationship between our organizations and for his essential work in establishing the Maritime Labor Alliance.”

The IBU is the marine affiliate of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).

The members of the Maritime Labor Alliance are the American Radio Association (ARA), the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), the IBU, the ILWU, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and MM&P.

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The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that was signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 12 includes a provision calling for the United States to achieve a 355-ship Navy “as soon as practicable.”

Meeting the goal is however contingent on Congress making the required appropriations.

The legislation, “The SHIPS Act,” does not set a specific deadline for arriving at the 355-ship total.

Instead, it signals the intent of Congress to work toward that goal, which is also in keeping with promises that Trump made during his 2016 presidential run.

Expanding the fleet would require Congress to find a solution to its self-imposed budget caps under the Budget Control Act (BCA).

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said that it would take 3 percent to 5 percent budget growth over inflation to support that kind of a ship buildup, something that would be impossible under the BCA.

There are also questions about whether the Navy, which faces near-term budgetary challenges in supporting its current 279-ship battle fleet, could operate and maintain 355 ships without increases in funding that appear unachievable given current congressionally imposed budget restrictions.

The provision setting forth the 355-ship objective was sponsored by Senate Seapower Subcommittee Chair Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Va.).

“We are asking too few ships to do too many things,” Wicker said in a statement released when he introduced the legislation.

“Building up our nation’s fleet is essential to protecting our national security and projecting American power around the globe.”

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AT&T Wireless and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract that includes provisions to reduce overseas job outsourcing.

The contract would cover 21,000 people in the company’s wireless division who have been without a contract since February.

Under the terms of the tentative agreement, they will receive raises of 10 percent over the four years.

AT&T has also agreed to guarantee an amount of customer service work for U.S.-based call centers that would almost double the domestic call volume over current levels.

Additionally, the company has agreed to find new jobs for workers who lose their positions when a call center or a retail store is closed.

“Call center representatives, retail workers and techs from small towns and big cities joined together and refused to back down until they made good jobs at AT&T a reality,” said CWA President Chris Shelton in a statement.

“This contract affirms the power of working people everywhere to join together and establish a new standard for America’s retail and telecom jobs.”

A company spokesperson said that AT&T Wireless “strives in all our contract negotiations to reach fair deals that will allow us to continue to provide solid union-represented jobs with excellent wages and benefits, and we believe that’s the case here.”

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Two people died in a pilot boat accident Dec. 15 in the Gulf of Finland.

According to a statement by Finnpilot Pilotage, which operates the pilot boat, the two were killed when their boat overturned as they were heading to pick up a pilot.

Efforts to rescue the two were unsuccessful and the boat eventually sank.

Divers later located and recovered the bodies.

Both victims were employees of Finnpilot. They were the only two people on board at the time.

The cause of the accident is being investigated.

“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the relatives and co-workers of those who died in the accident, and thank everyone who participated in the search and rescue effort,” said Finnpilot Chief Executive Officer Kari Kosonen.

“Maritime traffic does not stop, however, so we are continuing to take care of our primary tasks today as usual,” Kosonen added.

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The November-December issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot has been posted on

In this issue: MM&P licensed deck officers aboard HORIZON SPIRIT and USNS COMFORT on the front lines in post-hurricane Puerto Rico relief effort; transportation sector unions, advocates for U.S.-flag fleet in Congress, fight back against attacks on Jones Act; crew of USNS YUMA rescues seven; Lifetime Achievement Award to C. Michael Murray.

Also: interview with Captain Bill Coulter, a member of the Greatest Generation, who served in the American Merchant Marine in World War II and has been part of the MM&P Offshore Group since 1968.

“I always have been an advocate for the union,” he says.

Plus: Thank you to the MM&P members and employees who contributed to the PCF during the course of 2017!

In a year when the stakes were high and the odds seemed stacked against the U.S.-flag fleet, you stood up to defend the Jones Act and the American maritime jobs it supports!

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The permanent position for ROS Chief Mate aboard the MV CAPE HORN is open. Matson is accepting resumés. Master’s experience preferred, no classes necessary. The vessel is currently berthed at Pier 50 in San Francisco.
If you are interested in this position, please send your resumé to Danny Defanti at

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All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will close at 1500 on Thursday, Dec. 21 and reopen on Dec. 27, after the Christmas holidays.

All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Dec. 29 and Jan. 1 for New Year’s.

The MM&P Hawaii Hall will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 2 for Jack Hall Day.

The MM&P Plan Office will be closed on Dec. 25, Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.

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The Plan Office has received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2017 no later than Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017at 3:00 p.m. EST.

All requests for 2017 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Jan. 2, 2018 for processing and will therefore be taxable in 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact the Vacation Department at 410-850-8625, 410-850-8647 or Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.

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The MM&P Atlantic Ports holiday party for both the Offshore Group and the Atlantic Maritime Group will take place in Newark on Thursday, Dec. 21, at the Robert Treat Hotel, 1200-1700.

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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 Amanda Meadows, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail:

Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 4/16/18

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 3/19/18, 5/23/18

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/16/18, 4/3/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 3/22/18, 5/21/18

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/26/18, 6/18/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/16/18, 2/22/18, 3/29/18, 5/21/18

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 3/26/18, 5/23/18

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/15/18, 4/9/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – 2/7/18, 3/6/18, 4/2/18, 4/30/18, 6/18/18

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 2/7/18, 3/5/18, 4/29/18

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/30/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/29/18, 4/2/18, 6/11/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/22/18, 3/12/18, 6/4/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/9/18

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 3/5/18, 6/4/18, 8/6/18, 10/1/18

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 3/12/18, 6/11/18, 8/13/18, 10/8/18

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/15/18, 3/26/18, 6/25/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 1/8/18, 2/19/18, 5/14/18, 6/18/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/5/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/12/18, 10/1/18

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/23/18

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/15/18, 2/5/18, 3/5/18, 3/19/18, 4/9/18, 4/23/18, 5/7/18, 6/4/18, 6/18/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/22/18, 2/12/18, 3/12/18, 3/26/18, 4/16/18, 4/30/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18, 6/25/18

**SHS-ADV-I & II now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS effective immediately**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/19/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/7/18

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/23/18

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 2/19/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/12/18

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/13/18

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 1/15/18

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness: 5/24/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/22/18, 6/4/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 2/20/18, 3/20/18, 5/24/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/23/18, 7/9/18, 11/26/18

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/15/18, 4/9/18

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 12/6/18, 3/8/18, 4/4/18, 5/2/18, 6/20/18

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 2/10/18, 3/3/18, 4/27/18

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/16/18, 4/17/18

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/19/18

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/5/18

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/21/18, 8/20/18, 12/10/18

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – Contact Admissions

LAP – 2/26/18, 7/9/18, 9/17/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: Contact Admissions

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/28/18

LNG-TPIC – 12/3/18

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 5/21/18 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 2/12/18, 4/30/18, 7/16/18, 12/3/18

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 5/7/18, 7/9/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/8/18, 4/23/18, 6/25/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 4/16/18, 5/7/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/13/18, 1/27/18, 2/5/18, 3/9/18, 4/5/18, 5/3/18, 5/12/18, 6/21/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/23/18, 5/24/18, 6/8/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 2/21/18, 5/22/18, 6/6/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/25/18, 6/3/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/4/18

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications: 1/8/18, 2/26/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/24/18, 5/13/18, 6/9/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 1/12/18, 3/2/18, 5/18/18, 6/10/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 1/13/18, 3/3/18, 5/19/18, 6/15/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 1/22/18, 1/24/18, 3/29/18, 4/23/18, 4/25/18, 6/25/18, 6/27/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/15/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/10/18, 1/31/18, 2/7/18, 2/21/18, 3/7/18, 3/21/18, 4/4/18, 4/18/18, 5/2/18, 5/9/18, 5/16/18, 6/6/18, 6/20/18, 7/11/18, 7/25/18, 8/8/18, 8/22/18, 10/3/18, 10/17/18, 10/31/18, 11/7/18, 11/14/18, 11/28/18, 12/5/18, 12/12/18, 12/19/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/8/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): 5/22/18

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 1/29/18, 5/14/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 2/19/18, 3/12/18, 4/2/18, 5/21/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/22/18

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/29/18

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/12/18, 4/16/18, 7/9/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/12/18

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/14/18, 4/9/18, 7/9/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 2/19/18

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/19/18

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For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

December 2017

20-22 24-Hour HAZWOPER

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973. All rights reserved. The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly © 2017. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on