Wheelhouse Weekly – February 23, 2001

February 23rd 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

VOLUME 5. . . . . NUMBER 8. . . February 23 2001




As a result of recent Trustee action, the following change to the IRAP/401K Plan went into effect Jan.1, 2001:

  • Offshore seagoing members will be allowed to make voluntary contributions of up to 20 percent (not to exceed the current IRS limitation of $10,500) to the 401K portion of the IRAP Plan.
  • This change will not apply to Offshore Administrative Services Group members or Columbia Northwest members.

A synopsis of all Trustee action taking place at the meetings held during the week of February 6, 2001 will be included in the next issue of the MM&P newspaper.

Anyone with questions may feel free to Email the Administrator, Valerie Verrecchio at

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Last year during Exercise Roving Sands/Purple Caduceus 2000, the Extreme Machines Production Company visited the MM&P-crewed USNS COMFORT as part of a special they were developing on extreme ships. A two-hour special called, “World’s Greatest Ships” (featuring USNS COMFORT) is scheduled to air on The Learning Channel, this Sunday, February 25th at 2100 hrs. (EST) and again at midnight.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


A new section of the MM&P website is now available that makes it possible for all MM&P members and applicants to pay dues and to make contributions to the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF) by credit card through a secure server.

Additional member only services are being planned for the website in the future. To access the new section, visit the MM&P website at and click on “Members Only”. You can also find a current copy of the MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly on the website along with legislative updates from MIRAID.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The Journal of Commerce (JOC) reports that according to several sources in Washington, DC, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is developing proposals that would largely dismantle the Maritime Administration by shifting many of its responsibilities to other federal agencies.

According to the JOC, the proposals were developed as part of President Bush’s fiscal 2002 budget and would reportedly strip MARAD of its responsibility for running the Ready Reserve Fleet and the Maritime Security Program. They are said to also scale back or possibly eliminate funding for the Title XI loan guarantee program that supports US shipbuilding.

The proposals have not been formally disclosed and the JOC reports they could be shot down within OMB or by Bush Administration policy staffers before being sent to Capitol Hill in the budget proposal. Yet several sources in Washington said they were aware that OMB, which is not known to be friendly to maritime polices, was delving into maritime issues in developing its budget proposals.

The OMB move recalls a similar one made in August, 1993 shortly after the Clinton Administration took office. A report by a commission on reinventing government recommended an almost complete dismantling of US maritime policies, including the Jones Act and anti-trust immunity for international lines. The Clinton administration backed away from the proposal in the face of powerful opposition from members of Congress, the AFL-CIO and maritime labor.

The JOC reports that there are many reasons to believe that the same reaction would greet any proposals from the Bush Administration to dismantle MARAD. Both Andrew Card, Bush’s chief of staff, and Elaine Chao, the secretary of labor, have government maritime backgrounds.

As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, the Bush-Cheney campaign last year issued a strong statement in support of the maritime industry that said, in part, “Programs that have contributed to the growth of our domestic fleet, such as the Jones Act, and those that guarantee intermodal cargo lift and management when needed in times of crisis or conflict, such as the Maritime Security Program, should be maintained.”

In addition, though maritime industry supporters in Congress are said to be dwindling in number, some of the most powerful legislators are staunch maritime industry allies.

The Bush statement, however, was silent on which agency should manage the MSP program or the RRF. The debate over whether to shift management of the RRF to the Defense Department has raged for years with no change in policy. Some believe Defense is better suited than MARAD to run such programs. Yet many others disagree, seeing MARAD as the standard-bearer for U.S.-flag shipping, an agency whose mission is to protect and enhance what has for years been a dwindling institution.

Many believe that given the doubts that always arise about the necessity of a maritime policy during peacetime, the industry needs its own advocate inside government to protect programs such as cargo preference, the Jones Act, MSP and Title XI.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


As reported last week, MM&P and the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association have finalized an agreement to allow a number of MEBA licensed deck officers to be taken in to the MM&P as Applicants. Highlights of the new agreement follow:

  • 40 MEBA deck officers will be taken in as MM&P Applicants. To attain Applicant status, individuals must possess an unlimited Masters, Chief Mates or Second Mates license and must be STCW-95 certified. MEBA will determine all other criteria for eligibility for this group.
  • One of the objectives of this agreement is to permit as many MEBA mates as practical to obtain MEBA pension credits to complete a 20-year pension eligibility as soon as possible, within certain parameters, without significantly impacting MM&P shipping to any appreciable degree.
  • MEBA mates will be covered for all benefits (pension, medical, training, vacation, etc.) under MEBA Plans by a pass-through agreement to the MEBA Plans.
  • If either MM&P or MEBA has difficulty filling any deck officer slot, they will communicate to fill that job. If it is an RRF position (ROS or FOS), the deck officer will work under the contracted union’s agreement in a pass-through arrangement.
  • MEBA mates working under MM&P contracts will be represented by MM&P and MM&P mates working under MEBA contracts will be represented by the MEBA. The MM&P and MEBA will establish a committee consisting of two delegates from each union to maintain an open dialog on new job opportunities and any other issue that may arise from this agreement. This agreement shall remain in full force and effect until September 30, 2005.

More detailed info on this agreement may be obtained at MM&P HQ at Email:; all MM&P Offshore Halls, or any Offshore Vice President.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Openings in classes through the first week of May follows:

  • 2/26-3/2: HAZ
  • 3/5-9: GMDSS REF
  • 3/12-15 SMA
  • 3/12-16: HAZ
  • 3/23: MED-MGMT
  • 3/24: ROR-1
  • 3/26-30: FF-ADV
  • 4/2-6: MSC-COMMS
  • 4/9-11: BRM-3
  • 4/9-13: COMP-MAR, FF-ADV
  • 4/9-20: GMDSS
  • 4/10-11: BRMP
  • 4/16-18: BRM-3
  • 4/16-20: FRB
  • 4/30-5/4: ARPA, BST, SHS-EMR
  • 5/7-11: FF-ADV, ARPA
  • 5/14-18: TPIC, ECDIS
  • 5/14-17: SMA
  • 5/14-25: GMDSS
  • 5/21-25: BRM-3, DCS, FF-ADV


3-day class running from Wed-Fri, March 14-16, now has been filled. Next available SHS-EMR is week of 4/30.


On Mar. 23 the first MED-MGMT class will be held at MITAGS. Although not required now, after 1 Feb 2002 it will be required under STCW for persons moving from “Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch” to “Chief Mate/Master”. Thus, after 1 Feb 2002, mariners going from 2nd Mate to Chief Mate will need to satisfy the requirement. MED-MGMT is a 1-day course. Persons who complete either MED-SMC or MED-PIC will satisfy the requirement and will not need to take the 1-day course.

MSC Classes

 The Strategic Sealift Communications Course will be held at MITAGS April 2-6, 2001.

GMDSS License Renewal

There have been significant changes to the renewal process. Fee has increased to $50. Forms have been revised. You cannot apply for renewal prior to 90 days before expiration date. Check under GMDSS on the MITAGS website at: for up-to-date forms and submission info.  New forms are also being sent to the halls.

Schedule through Dec. 2001 is being maintained on the website. Hard copy schedule updates are also provided to the halls. For additional MITAGS course info, please contact Mary Matlock at Voice: 443-989-3226 or e-mail:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Classes with availability through March are as follows:

  • 2/26-3/2 ECDIS
  • 3/5-7 BRM-3 day
  • 3/19-23 TPIC-Barge

Note: The ECDIS course will meet the EINS (Electronic Integrated Navigation Systems) Standards.

Download their entire schedule at: The latest PNMI press releases are at: For further info contact Gregg Trunnell at voice: 206 239-9965; fax: 206-441-2995; Email:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly




-364.21 for the week 



-277.95 for the week 

 Vanguard 500 Index Fund


-6.81 for the week

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund 


-2.05 for the week

 Vanguard International Growth Fund


-0.53  for the week

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund


-0.39 for the week

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund


-0.56 for the week

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)


-0.54  for the week

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)


-0.47 for the week

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)


-1.41 for the week

 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)


-6.78 for the week

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)


– 2.52  for the week

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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