Wheelhouse Weekly – Mar. 10, 2015

March 10th 2015

Volume 19 . . . Number 10 . . . March 10, 2015


In this issue:



News for MM&P Members:

Upcoming Events:

Other News:


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


MM&P Atlantic and Gulf Ports Union Halls, MM&P Headquarters and the MM&P Federal Credit Union will be closed onTuesday, March 17, for Gleason’s Birthday, an International Longshoremen’s Association holiday. The San Juan Hall will be closed on Monday, March 23, for Emancipation Day.

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The APL PEARL will be flagged out in Italy on April 20, American President Lines says. The APL BELGIUM will assume the PEARL’s Maritime Security Program (MSP) slot. As a consequence of the anticipated drop in government cargo, more vessels are expected to exit the U.S.-flag fleet during the course of this year, Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen told members of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation during a Feb. 25 hearing. Jaenichen noted that the fleet of U.S.-flag vessels engaged in international trade has diminished by 25 percent since 2012, with the corresponding loss of about 2,200 U.S. mariner jobs. He made the remarks as part of testimony on the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget for the Department of Transportation, the Maritime Administration’s parent agency.

Jaenichen told members of the subcommittee that since 2009, MSP carriers have moved over 90 percent of the ocean-borne cargo needed to support U.S. military operations and rebuilding programs in Afghanistan and Iraq. He added that MSP provides critical employment for 2,400 U.S. merchant mariners, creating a reliable pool of professionals ready to support the activation of the government’s sealift fleets.

The most significant challenges facing MSP, Jaenichen testified, are the decline in Department of Defense cargo caused by the drawdown of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an over 80 percent reduction in personnel and military bases overseas since 1990. In his testimony, Jaenichen also touched on Administration-proposed changes to the PL 480 Title II food aid program. He said an additional $25 million in the Administration’s budget “would mitigate the impact that such reforms could have on mariner jobs,” and that the vast majority of food aid would continue to be sourced and shipped from the United States.

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Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), a staunch advocate for the U.S. Merchant Marine and America’s working families, has announced that she will retire after 30 years in Congress. Mikulski is a trailblazer: she is both the longest-serving woman in Congressional history and the first to head the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. An even-handed, outspoken lawmaker, she is widely respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

“Senator Mikulski has been a champion of the merchant marine for many years,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. “Growing up in the Port of Baltimore, she speaks with authority of the ‘heroes in dungarees’ aboard the Liberty ships in World War II and of the contributions made by American mariners to our country’s economy and national security. We are greatly indebted to her for her many interventions in Congress on behalf of our industry. We salute her efforts to preserve the U.S.-flag fleet, along with her impressive record of service on behalf of the American people.”

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has expressed strong support for the U.S. Coast Guard’s proposed rule on seafarers’ access to maritime facilities. The ITF joined MM&P and other industry players in filing comments in support of the Coast Guard’s proposal. The ITF said the rule would improve the shore leave and shore access situation for seafarers while at the same time protecting U.S. security needs.

The rule would require each owner or operator of a regulated facility to implement a system that provides seafarers and other individuals with access between vessels moored at the facility and the facility gate in a timely manner and at no cost to the seafarer or other individuals. MM&P Pilots Group Vice President George Quick and others have worked for years to end the unduly restrictive access procedures implemented at some U.S. terminals.

“The ITF applauds the Coast Guard’s current regulatory effort in promulgating this long overdue and imperative proposed rule,” wrote ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair and Seafarers International Union Secretary-Treasurer Dave Heindel. “For too long, seafarers, especially non-U.S. crews, have been denied or restricted access to shore leave. Although we certainly acknowledge and fully support the need for port security, denial of unimpeded and unduly restrictive access for seafarers to maritime facilities has not only proved detrimental to the health and emotional security of the mariner and diminished their quality of life, but may have in many instances hampered continued efficient vessel operations and the maritime transportation system itself.”

MM&P’s comments on the Coast Guard’s proposed rule are posted on MM&P and the ITF both have commended the agency for its work in formulating the proposed rule, noting that it addresses many of the concerns of the national and international maritime seafaring community. “With several further changes to the proposed rule, we believe that an equitable balance will be struck between maritime security and the human dignity of seafarers,” the ITF wrote.

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The Senate is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a motion backed by the Republican majority that would undo a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule that shortens to 11 days—from the current 38 days—the amount of time the Board will have to run union elections.

Republicans in the Senate plan to use the Congressional Review Act, which allows them to undo a regulation through “a motion of disapproval,” by a simple majority vote in both chambers. The motion is expected to pass over the opposition of Democrats because it can’t be filibustered or amended. President Obama has said that he will veto the bill if it arrives on his desk. Employers generally use the time leading up to an election to campaign, often using coercion and intimidation, against a union vote. Common strategies include organizing mandatory meetings in which workers are required to listen to anti-union propaganda (often presented by union-busting firms) and filing lawsuits to block or delay elections.

Democrats argue that the GOP, in pushing to lengthen the lead-up time to union elections, is siding with special interests. “I am stunned that we have the Republican majority fighting to keep the system rigged against American workers,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a Senate floor speech. “My friends on the other side of the aisle have once again taken up the cause of special interests.” Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who says he is a member of three labor unions, added that the Board rule under attack by GOP legislators takes a “small but important step” toward strengthening “the voices of regular Americans in the workplace.”

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Gov. Scott Walker, a possible 2016 presidential contender who has made attacks on labor unions the foundation of his political career, on March 9 signed a measure that makes Wisconsin the 25th state to enact so-called “right-to-work” legislation. Right-to-work laws weaken unions by extending all the benefits of union contracts to “free riders” who do not pay dues. Union members and supporters held multiple demonstrations in the rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol in February to protest the legislation, which was passed by the GOP-dominated legislature in a fast-track process. In 2011, Walker eliminated collective bargaining rights for most public sector workers in the state.

In related news, in a Feb. 26 speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Walker drew thunderous applause when he cited attacks on workers’ rights as an experience that qualified him to lead a possible future war against the terrorist group known as ISIS, saying “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same in the rest of the world…” Though Walker later tried to re-characterize the comments—claiming he was not making a comparison between Wisconsin workers and militants who have released videos of gruesome murders—union members were not buying it, calling the comments “jaw-dropping” and a “disgrace” for a national political figure.

“To compare the hundreds of thousands of teachers, students, grandmothers, veterans, correctional officers, nurses and all the workers who came out to peacefully protest and stand together for their rights as Americans to ISIS terrorists is disgusting and unacceptable,” said Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt. “I call on Governor Walker to personally and immediately retract his statement, and to apologize sincerely to the millions of workers in Wisconsin and throughout America he has so appallingly insulted,” said AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka.

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Compensatory time off for travel is earned by some federal employees for time spent in travel status, away from their official duty stations, when the time is not “compensable” by other means. In limited circumstances, time spent on travel may be considered hours worked.

On behalf of their respective members, MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) worked alongside Military Sealift Command (MSC) through the myriad of rules and regulations governing travel hours of work. Applicable rules and regulations include the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Title 5 overtime laws and CFR regulations. As a result of this collaborative effort, MSC will seek approval from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Department of Defense (DOD) to provide retroactive and posthumous compensatory time off for travel entitlements to MSC Licensed Deck, Engine and Medical Services Officers.

The parties agreed that, based on “reasonable estimates,” compensatory time will be awarded retroactively to Licensed Deck, Engine and Medical Services Officers so as to allow them to complete the retroactive travel compensatory time entitlement. The collectively agreed total hours of compensatory time will be awarded upon OPM/DOD approval. MSC also agreed that if Licensed Deck, Engine and Medical Services Officers have maintained their own records and can provide actuals, the agency will honor compensatory time entitlements that can be demonstrated from the officers’ own travel records.

“This news should provide a real morale boost to MM&P members who often travel on official business during off-duty hours,” says MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski. “This is the kind of benefit that improves MSC’s ability to recruit MM&P officers and to retain the dedicated and talented MM&P officers already in public service.” Ciszewski thanked MSC’s Ken Giacolone and Frank Cunningham for the efforts expended in the context of this project and for their advocacy on behalf of the members of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group.

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MM&P members can save 30 percent off the price of a subscription to Consumer Reports.Org, the largest independent product-testing organization in the world. Recent consumer reports include: strategies to save on your grocery bill; best used cars for under $20,000; how refrigerator thermometers can save you money; and how to use frequent-flyer miles wisely. For $22 a year, you can save hundreds of dollars per year. A mobile platform lets you access product ratings as you shop and view side-by-side product comparisons without any downloads–simply go to on your phone’s browser.

Union members and their families can subscribe with the Union Plus 27 percent discount: $22 instead of the regular $30 price. is published by Consumers Union, a non-profit organization which accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. Consumers Union is union organized, with testers and writers represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). It’s a perfect partnership with Union Plus. It accepts no advertising, pays for all the products tested and, as a not-for-profit organization, has no shareholders. To subscribe, go to

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MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger will hold a membership meeting at 1100 on Wednesday, March 11, weather permitting. All members in the area are encouraged to attend.

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The National Maritime Center has announced that since the renovation project of Honolulu Harbor Pier 4 has been completed, the Regional Exam Center (REC) in Honolulu will be temporarily closed so as to return operations to Pier 4. The last day of operations at the Dole Cannery Building location will be Friday, March 20. The REC will re-open on Monday, April 6, on Pier 4. Beginning Monday, April 6, the address will be: Regional Exam Center, Honolulu Harbor Pier 4, 433 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96813. During the temporary closure, applications may be submitted to one of the other RECs. See for a complete list of REC locations. Upon re-opening on Pier 4, all routine REC operations will be restored at the Honolulu location. If you have questions, please contact the NMC at 1-888-IASKNMC (1-888-427-5662) or

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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): 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: 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: 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: 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: 3/16/15, 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: 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: 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

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