Wheelhouse Weekly – Mar. 17, 2015

March 18th 2015

Volume 19 . . . Number 11 . . . March 17, 2015


In this issue:




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


The MM&P San Juan Hall will be closed on Monday, March 23, for Emancipation Day. The Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle union halls will be closed on March 31 for Cesar Chavez Day. The MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union, MM&P headquarters and all MM&P union halls will be closed on April 3 for Good Friday.

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The Chairman and Ranking Democrat of the House Committee on Armed Services have urged their colleagues to support full funding in FY’16 for the Maritime Security Program (MSP). Demonstrating the broad bipartisan support that exists for MSP, Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.) warned that “the failure to approve the requested funding for the Maritime Security Program will not only put American troops at risk, but will weaken America’s overall security interests and will cost the American taxpayer significantly more than the amount requested ($186 million) for FY 2016.”

The MSP was enacted to ensure that the United States has the U.S.-flag commercial sealift capability and trained U.S.-citizen mariners available to crew the government and privately owned vessels needed by the Department of Defense (DOD) in time of war or other national emergency. MSP and its fleet of 60 U.S.-flag, militarily useful commercial vessels ensure that America will be able to support and supply our troops overseas.

It would cost the government $13 billion to replace just the dry cargo vessel capacity provided by MSP, according to a report prepared for the National Defense Transportation Association. The U.S. Transportation Command has estimated that it would cost $52 billion to replicate the intermodal system made available to DOD by MSP participating companies.

In the letter, Thornberry and Smith called on congressional appropriators to fully fund MSP, calling it “a highly efficient and low-cost public private partnership” that saves U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars each year.

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MM&P and Military Sealift Command (MSC) have partnered to implement an awards program for Civil Service mariners aboard MSC Joint-High-Speed Vessels (JHSV). The program came into effect in January. For MM&P licensed deck officers, it calls for an initial bonus of $3,000 for the completion of JHSV Spearhead Class Endorsement along with a four-month assignment on a JHSV. It also calls for a $2,000 bonus every two years that the member remains in the program. Recognition of a Time-Off Award of 16 hours for every four-month assignment will be granted to MM&P Medical Services Officers (MSOs).

In announcing the awards program, a spokesperson for MSC said the organization “must maintain a sufficient pool of JHSV-qualified CIVMARS to support readiness, failing to do so will affect mission readiness. Becoming a JHSV Type Rating Certified Officer or a JHSV Trained unlicensed CIVMAR who has completed the required JHSV training must be strongly encouraged. Additionally, retaining these highly qualified CIVMARs in the JHSV program must remain a high priority.”

“With licensed deck officer shortages remaining a significant challenge for MSC, we asked for substantial monetary recognition and retention bonuses for all MM&P bargaining unit members, in particular considering the JHSV training requirements,” said MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski. She extended thanks to MSC Director of Manpower & Personnel Frank Cunningham “for his genuine partnership efforts in getting this program approved.”

Ciszewski says she believes management recognizes the immediate need to implement a recruitment and retention bonus program for all MM&P members working aboard MSC vessels. “All the additional training and certification requirements, ongoing liberty and alcohol restrictions, lack of shore leave accrual, back-to-back long tours in the Gulf and other arduous and dangerous ports are not recognized in our members’ base wage,” she said. But while the response from MSC was supportive for members aboard JHSVs, Ciszewski said, “we have been unable to finalize recruitment and retention bonuses for all members.” She says she remains hopeful that management will soon collaborate with MM&P and implement significant recruitment and retention bonuses that will be applicable to all unit members. In the meantime, she added, “It will undoubtedly remain a challenge for MSC to find qualified licensed deck officers to man its vessels.”

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New Jersey legislators last week voted unanimously to send Gov. Chris Christie a bill to dissolve the bi-state Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor and transfer its New Jersey operations to the state police. The state senate has also voted to dissolve the commission, which many see as an expensive anachronism. The New York Shipping Association (NYSA) and the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) agree it should be disbanded: in 2013, they together sued the commission for interfering in their contract.

“It’s time to dissolve the bi-state Waterfront Commission,” wrote U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and Raymond Lesniak, a state senator for Union County, in an opinion piece that was published recently in the New Jersey Star Ledger. “It was established in 1953 as a temporary agency at a time when the mob ruled the waterfront and immediate steps were needed to rein in rampant crime and restore order. Decades later, New Jersey’s port industry is still paying millions of dollars in extra taxes each year to fund a redundant agency that was designed for a different era.”

Both the ILA and the NYSA have repeatedly urged that the commission be abolished. Last year, they say, the commission’s repeated interventions in personnel issues at the port delayed the hiring of 652 new longshoremen and clerks that all agreed were needed to replace retirees and handle growth in cargo volume. In a speech last fall, ILA President Harold Daggett referred to the Waterfront Commission as “an evil empire.”

Under the bill approved last week, the New Jersey state police would take over background checks and licensing of longshoremen and companies on the New Jersey side of the harbor. Christie has not said whether he intends to sign the bill to abolish the commission or not. New Jersey’s one commissioner on the two-member panel is a Christie appointee.

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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka last Tuesday warned members of Congress that votes in favor of giving President Obama fast-track authority for a multilateral trade deal will count against them in the 2016 elections.

“We are going all out to oppose it: phone banks, leafletting, door knocks in various congressional districts and Senate states to inform the general public, and we will continue this until we are successful in defeating it,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said March 10 during a meeting with members of the press. The news was reported in the March 10 issue of USA TODAY by journalist Susan Davis.

If approved, fast-track authority would allow the president to negotiate a deal that can only be approved or disapproved by Congress and is not subject to amendment or filibuster. The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership involves 12 countries that make up 40 percent of the world’s population and 60 percent of global GDP.

Trumka says that approval of fast-track authority and the TPP would have far-reaching political implications. “It would adversely affect the way working people view this administration and all those in the Democratic Party for a long time,” he said. Democrats under pressure from the White House to support it should remember that the president won’t be on the ballot in 2016. “He isn’t running again, but they are,” Trumka said.

Trumka said TPP would be the largest trade pact enacted to date and would have far-reaching consequences for the United States. “This agreement will shut the door on millions of American workers for a long time to come. Inequality will grow, jobs will be lost, wages will be lowered, and this country’s middle class will continue to get dinged,” he said. “I think a proper trade (deal) is good if it benefits everybody,” he said, “But we haven’t seen that yet, and we have no reason to believe TPP will be that either.”

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Are you an American veteran? Share your story with the Red Cross and help contribute to a national project to share and preserve the living history of our nation’s veterans. The Napa County Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the Library of Congress with the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center. The Project’s mission is to collect, preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations can hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The project collects first-hand accounts of U.S. veterans of: World War II (1939-1946); the Korean War (1950-1955); the Vietnam War (1961-1975); the Persian Gulf War (1990-1995); Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present); any conflict not listed.

In addition, U.S. civilians who were actively involved in supporting the war effort (such as war industry workers, merchant mariners, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, Red Cross volunteers) are also invited to share their valuable stories.

Our staff will record your history, convert the recording to DVD format and make two copies of your DVD history. One will be sent to the Library of Congress and the other will be given to you. To have your story recorded, or if you would like to volunteer for this project, please contact the American Red Cross at (707) 257-2900.

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Anti-union groups in at least seven states are pushing so-called “right-to-work” (RTW) laws, which weaken unions by reducing the number of dues-paying members. Twenty-five states already have RTW laws on the books. The laws make contributing to the cost of union representation optional while requiring unions to provide the same representation and services to everyone in a workplace. The Wisconsin AFL-CIO and two unions filed a lawsuit March 10 to block that state’s new RTW law. The suit argues that the law is an unconstitutional taking of their property without just compensation and that enforcement would cause them irreparable harm. It was filed in Dane County Circuit Court a day after the measure was signed by Gov. Scott Walker, a probable 2016 presidential contender who has based his political career on fighting unions.

President Obama criticized RTW laws in an official statement released to the press last week. “It’s no coincidence that the rise of the middle class in America coincided in large part with the rise of unions – workers who organized together for higher wages, better working conditions, and the benefits and protections that most workers take for granted today,” Obama said. “So it’s inexcusable that, over the past several years, just when middle-class families and workers need that kind of security the most, there’s been a sustained, coordinated assault on unions, led by powerful interests and their allies in government… Wisconsin is a state built by labor,” he added, “with a proud pro-worker past. So even as its governor claims victory over working Americans, I’d encourage him to try and score a victory for working Americans – by taking meaningful action to raise their wages and offer them the security of paid leave.”

“That’s how you give hard-working middle-class families a fair shot in the new economy,” he added, “not by stripping their rights in the workplace but by offering them all the tools they need to get ahead.”

The Center for Media and Democracy, a progressive group, reports that the Wisconsin bill was taken almost word for word from a “model bill” crafted by the anti-union group known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and was passed with funding provided by the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity. The push for RTW continues in multiple states in a variety of forms. Similar laws have been introduced and are pending in New Hampshire, Missouri, New Mexico, West Virginia, Kentucky, Montana and Colorado.

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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: 3/31/15, 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day – 4/6/15, 10/1/15

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

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

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

BT – Basic Safety Training: 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: 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): 3/30/15, 4/20/15, 5/11/15, 6/22/15,7/13/15, 8/10/15, 8/31/15, 10/26/15, 11/30/15

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

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

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 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): 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: 5/27/15

DPA – 3/19/15

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

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

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 5/4/15, 6/15/15, 7/20/15, 8/24/15, 9/21/15, 10/19/15, 11/9/15, 12/14/15

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

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

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 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: Contact Admissions

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

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 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

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 4/27/15, 6/8/15, 7/6/15, 8/17/15, 9/14/15, 10/12/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

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

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

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

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 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): 6/5/15, 8/19/15, 10/29/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 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: 3/23/15, 6/1/15, 7/27/15

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

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

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

SMS – 3/17/15

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

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

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 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: 4/18/15, 5/18/15, 7/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15, 10/17/15

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

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 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

March 2015

23-27 ECDIS
30-3 Leadership and Managerial Skills

April 2015

6th Radar Renewal
6-10 Leadership and Managerial Skills
13-17 Leadership and Managerial Skills
13-17 Medical Care Provider
13-17 Basic Shiphandling
13-24 GMDSS
20-24 Leadership and Managerial Skills
27-29 Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
27-1 Bridge Resource Management

May 2015

4-8 Train the Trainer
4-8 Leadership and Managerial Skills
4-15 GMDSS
11-15 Leadership and Managerial Skills
11-15 Medical Care Provider
18-22 Leadership and Managerial Skills
26th Radar Renewal
27-29 Bridge Resource Management and Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots

June 2015

1-3 Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
1-5 Medical Care Provider
1-12 Medical Person-In-Charge
8-12 Leadership and Managerial Skills
15-19 ECDIS
15-19 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
22-26 Leadership and Managerial Skills
22-26 Basic Meteorology
29-3 Leadership and Managerial Skills

July 2015

6-24 Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
13-17 Leadership and Managerial Skills
13-24 GMDSS
20-23 ARPA
27-31 Radar Observer Unlimited

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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