Wheelhouse Weekly – Jan. 13, 2015

January 14th 2015 ,

Volume 19 . . . Number 2 . . . Jan. 13, 2015


In this issue:



Job Opportunities:

Upcoming Events:


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


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Jan. 19 for Martin Luther King’s Birthday. The Nobel Prize laureate and civil rights activist was assassinated in 1968 while on a trip to Memphis in support of a strike by sanitation workers

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On Jan. 5, Allison Beck, acting director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), issued the following statement on the labor negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA): “In response to a joint request for assistance from the parties, collective bargaining between ILWU and PMA representatives will continue as soon as possible under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). We are prepared and ready to render prompt assistance. Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, a senior FMCS mediator with extensive collective bargaining experience in this industry, has been assigned to help the parties bring these important negotiations to a mutually acceptable resolution.” As is agency practice, the FMCS is not releasing information regarding future meeting dates and locations. In addition, the FMCS will have no further comment at this time regarding the status or substance of the negotiations.

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The union and management are working closely together on the agency’s official policy to combat this infectious disease. Various agencies and organizations have already published comprehensive and effective guidance for the prevention, containment and treatment of EVD. MSC’s policy for the fleet is and will be aligned with the best public health information and current commercial shipping/DOD/DOT guidelines.

Mariners and ashore personnel bound for operations in outbreak areas will receive pre-deployment health threat briefings on EVD risks and precautions, including the proper use of personal protective equipment, such that each individual understands the procedures for prevention and mitigation and personal self-monitoring. MSC will reduce risk of transmission of EVD to all personnel by actively employing the hierarchy of controls (elimination of the hazard, administrative management, personal protective equipment (PPE)). “Maintaining mariner health and wellness is a top priority,” stated MSC’s Force Surgeon, Captain Robin Wilkening, “and is a goal best achieved through active collaboration engaging all stakeholders.”

MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski stated, “I appreciated Captain Wilkening’s genuine partnership efforts. MSC included the union in discussions regarding this initiative at the earliest possible stage. By working together pre-decisionally, labor and management can continue to reduce the amount of time spent resolving conflicts and increase the amount of time spent improving public services.”

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The new director of Washington State Ferries (WSF) has announced a plan to streamline the organization by eliminating one level of management and realigning several key positions. Lynne Griffith, who became director of the ferry system in October of last year, informed employees and ferry district legislators of the planned changes on Jan. 6 in a message entitled “Transforming Our Organization.” She said the changes would “transform our structure, moving us forward in ways that I believe will make us a more effective organization.” The new structure eliminates one level of WSF management and realigns several positions so the incumbents report directly to her. The positions are: director of marine operations; director of vessel and terminal maintenance; director of terminal engineering; director of finance and administration; and director of community services and planning.

Griffith said the new organizational structure will help WSF operate more efficiently, increase transparency and hold management to a higher level of accountability.

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Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), a staunch advocate for the American Merchant Marine and the U.S.-flag fleet, announced last week on her website that she will retire at the end of 2016 when her 4th Senate term expires. It will be the conclusion of a Congressional career, including service in the House of Representatives, that has spanned three decades. Boxer said that although she is leaving the Senate, she intends to continue fighting for America’s working families and other issues of importance to the nation. “I am never going to retire,” she said. “The work is too important.” Boxer’s decision means California will have an open seat for the first time in more than two decades.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has called on the Obama Administration to release the details of a proposed law that would give the president authority to “fast track” trade negotiations. In a Jan. 5 letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Sanders said the legislation could pave the way for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP). The secret pact would be the largest free trade agreement in history, encompassing 12 nations that account for nearly 40 percent of the global economy. Sanders has expressed concern that the text of the TPP has not been made public, despite the fact that the “leaders of the major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP.” Sanders said the only parts of the proposed pact that have been made public have been released in the form of leaked documents, adding “I find what I read to be very troubling.”

A number of labor unions, including MM&P, have spoken out against TPP and similar trade agreements, including the CETA pact between Canada and the European Union, which would decimate Canada’s Merchant Navy by punching holes in our northern neighbor’s version of the Jones Act. The TPP, like CETA, has broad economic and political implications for participating nations’ economy, sovereignty, healthcare, environment and security, among many other issues. “It goes without saying that the American people and their elected officials have a right to know what is in this agreement before fast track is voted on,” Sanders says.

The senator has requested a copy of the “full composite bracketed text, without redactions, of the TPP,” and permission for his staff and experts of his choosing to be allowed access as well. He also asked the U.S. trade representative to explain “why you think it is appropriate that the representatives of the largest financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, media conglomerates, and other major corporate interests not only have access to some of these documents, but are also playing a major role in developing the key provisions in it,” while “the people who will suffer the consequences of this treaty have been shut out of this process.”

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Risks in the maritime environment are on the rise as regulatory burdens increase, shipping lanes become more crowded and economic pressures lead to tighter deadlines and manning levels that create heavier workloads. The beginning of a new year is a good opportunity to review the mariner’s rights and obligations in the event of a maritime casualty that takes place under U.S. jurisdiction. This article is intended as a guideline only for legal rights and responsibilities provided under U.S. law. Seek legal counsel immediately after an incident and remember your rights. It is also recommended that officers in senior positions invest in license insurance.

In the maritime world as in other industries, many incidents are minor and do not have legal consequences. In more serious cases, it is important to keep in mind that the course the proceedings will take is often established at the earliest stages, in the moments in which initial statements are made to the authorities at the accident scene. Here, the old maxim “Silence is golden” takes on renewed significance: it is important to emphasize that statements that may seem innocent can be interpreted very differently by the authorities.

Two basic legal rights–the right to counsel and the right to remain silent—assume paramount importance. A mariner involved in an accident has the right to be represented by counsel in any matter, civil or criminal, at any stage of the investigation. Except for obligations to provide immediate safety information, to produce voyage records (more on this below) and to report a serious accident as soon as possible, a mariner has the right to decline to speak further with the Coast Guard until the arrival of counsel. This right also applies to any other investigating agency, be it state or federal (although local counsel may have additional guidance regarding the procedures of a particular state).

A mariner involved in an accident has the right to remain silent in any matter that could subject him or her to criminal prosecution. (And it should be assumed that if an accident results in oil in the water, it may lead to criminal prosecution.) If immunity is offered, a mariner has the right to confer with counsel prior to accepting the offer. This applies to any investigation by the Coast Guard or by any federal, state or local agency. Upon request of the Coast Guard, voyage records (charts, logs, printouts, manifests, oil record book, etc.) must be produced without delay, even if counsel is not present. There is, however, no requirement that one discuss, interpret or explain any record until counsel is present.

Any incident involving death, serious injury, property loss, loss of seaworthiness or harm to the environment must be reported as soon as practical. Likewise, there is an obligation to provide the Coast Guard with information relating to the immediate safety of persons, property or the environment, even if counsel is not present.

Within five days of the casualty, the owner, agent, master, operator or person in charge must prepare a CG Form 2692 and forward it to the Coast Guard’s Office of Marine Safety. This required form is usually prepared with advice of counsel.

Union members should contact their union as soon as possible after an accident occurs. It is also important to note that company counsel is primarily representing the company’s interest. U.S. law guarantees the mariner the right to be represented by his or her own counsel.

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The officers and crews of a number of U.S.-flag ships, including MAERSK IDAHO, MAERSK KENTUCKY and USNS CHARLTON, have been working to improve the lives of young people living in children’s homes in and around the port cities at which their vessels call. Over the past five years, the crews of MAERSK IDAHO have donated money, food and other items to orphanages in Sri Lanka, says Captain Paul Willers. The most recent donations by the crew of MAERSK IDAHO are being used to upgrade and renovate the laundry facilities at a children’s home in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The story of the MAERSK IDAHO’s and MAERSK KENTUCKY’s crews’ long-running relationship with the children’s homes in Sri Lanka is featured in the most recent edition of The Master, Mate & Pilot.

In related news, the officers of the Watson-class LMSR USNS CHARLTON led a Christmas toy donation drive in Saipan to benefit children living at a local women’s shelter. Captain Michael Parr organized the toy drive, working with the crew and coordinating with the masters of other Military Sealift Command vessels to raise money for the gifts, which he delivered along with CHARLTON Chief Mate Karen Reyes. “We have been fortunate to be offered the opportunity to provide Christmas presents for the children this year,” Parr told a journalist for a local newspaper. “It was an honor and a blessing for all of us.” He said the crewmembers and captains of USNS CHARLTON, USNS SODERMAN, USNS PILILAAU, USNS JACK LUMMUS and USNS DEWAYNE WILLIAMS are grateful to the community and businesses that helped out and gave them discounts on the gifts they purchased for the children. Photos taken on the occasion of the toy donation drive will be featured in the next issue of The Master, Mate &

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SUNY Maritime College is seeking instructors for the following classes: Marine Electrical Systems; Manufacturing Processes I Lab; Ship Systems IV. Please contact SUNY Engineering Department Chair Joseph C. Hoffman if you are interested:; phone 718-409-7411; fax: 718-409-7421.

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Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger will hold a membership meeting at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall at 1100 on Wednesday, Jan. 14. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held at the MM&P San Francisco/Oakland Hall on Feb. 4-5. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the hall: 415-777-5074. There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.

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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 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:

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 – 4/13/15, 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 6/19/15, 7/13/15

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/20/15, 3/31/15, 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/2/15, 4/6/15, 10/1/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 1/26/15, 3/23/15, 5/18/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/4/15, 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 11/9/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/4/15, 4/8/15, 9/28/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

BT-Revalidation –8/4/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/13/15, 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN):

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/19/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 4/13/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/27/15, 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/17/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 1/26/15, 2/2/15, 2/16/15, 3/9/15,3/30/15, 6/22/15, 8/10/15, 10/26/15, 11/30/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/2/15, 11/16/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 3/9/15, 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/2/15, 3/9/15, 3/30/15, 4/13/15, 5/4/15, 6/1/15, 7/13/15, 8/10/15,8/24/15, 10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/9/15, 3/16/15, 4/6/15, 4/20/15, 5/11/15, 6/8/15, 7/20/15, 8/17/15,8/31/15, 10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/11/15, 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/27/15, 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/9/15

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/26/15, 5/27/15

DPA – 3/19/15

ECDIS-OIC – 2/16/15

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/15, 6/15/15, 7/14/15, 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 2/23/15

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/20/15, 4/14/15, 7/6/15, 9/15/15, 11/11/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/23/15

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/16/15, 8/24/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/22/15, 8/31/15, 11/16/15

LAP- 4/6/15, 9/14/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/26/15

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 3/2/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 11/30/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/21/15, 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 3/30/15, 9/21/15

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 12/7/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 3/2/15, 5/11/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 12/7/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/24/15, 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 6/20/15, 7/25/15, 8/28/15, 11/5/15, 12/12/15

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/26/15, 6/5/15, 8/19/15, 10/29/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 2/23/15, 6/2/15, 8/17/15, 10/27/15

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/15/15, 6/6/15, 8/16/15, 10/31/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15, 6/9/15, 8/3/15, 11/2/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 2/16/15, 5/26/15, 8/8/15, 10/19/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/20/15, 5/30/15, 8/6/15, 10/17/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 2/22/15, 6/1/15, 8/12/15, 10/23/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 2/23/15, 6/2/15, 8/13/15, 10/24/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/19/15, 3/30/15, 8/3/15, 9/21/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/28/15, 2/4/15, 2/18/15, 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/17/15, 7/8/15, 7/22/15, 8/5/15, 8/19/15, 9/2/15, 9/16/15, 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 2/2/15, 3/23/15, 6/1/15, 7/27/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/6/15, 10/19/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/16/15, 5/11/15, 6/22/15, 11/2/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/19/15, 3/2/15, 4/27/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

SMS – 3/17/15

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/26/15, 8/3/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/6/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/23/15, 8/3/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – 3/23/15

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 5/21/15

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/4/15, 4/18/15, 5/18/15, 7/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15, 10/17/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/2/15, 9/28/15

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/23/15, 9/14/15

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen: 206.838.1126 or

January 2015

26-30 Radar Observer Unlimited
26-30 Leadership and Managerial Skills

February 2015

2nd Flashing Light
3-7 ARPA
9-13 ECDIS
9-13 Leadership and Managerial Skills
9-13 Medical Care Provider
16-20 Rules of the Road
16-27 GMDSS
23-27 ECDIS
23-27 Leadership and Managerial Skills

March 2015

2-6 Leadership and Managerial Skills
2-6 Basic Construction and Stability
9th Radar Renewal
9-20 Celestial Navigation
16-20 Leadership and Managerial Skills
16-20 Medical Care Provider
16-27 GMDSS
16-27 Medical Person-In-Charge
23-27 ECDIS
30-3 Leadership and Managerial Skills

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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 © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For new subscriptions or address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on