News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 18, 2009

 

– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 20. . . .May 18, 2009

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


COAST GUARD ISSUES MARSEC DIRECTIVE ON PIRACY

The Coast Guard has issued a maritime security (MARSEC) directive in response to the recent pirate attacks against U.S.-flag vessels, including MAERSK ALABAMA. The directive [104-6 (rev. 2)] provides the maritime industry with specific measures to take to “deter, detect or disrupt piracy.”

The directive instructs that before entering high-risk waters, ships should establish an anti-piracy plan that includes the hardening of rigging and strategies for operating vessels in a manner to prevent attacks and boarding. The directive also instructs ships to use established transit lanes, employ erratic maneuvering, increase speed and cooperate with military forces patrolling the area.

“During transit through high-risk areas,” the directive states, “it is the ship’s responsibility to maintain a vigilant anti-piracy watch and ensure all shipboard anti-piracy precautions are in force.”

By May 25, vessel security plans for U.S.-flag vessels that operate in high-risk waters must incorporate security protocols for terrorism, piracy and armed robbery against ships that meet the performance standards in the directive. An annex to the directive provides additional measures required for vessels transiting high-risk waters in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden. All vessel security plans must be approved by the Coast Guard.


MM&P MEMBER CAPTAIN RICHARD PHILLIPS MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA

President Barack Obama met Saturday, May 9, with MM&P member Captain Richard Phillips, master of MAERSK ALABAMA, the U.S.-flag containership that was attacked last month by pirates. Phillips and his wife, Andrea, met the President in the White House Oval Office. Following the attempted hijacking of the ship, Phillips was held prisoner aboard a lifeboat for five days in a standoff between the pirates and the U.S. Navy. Captain Phillips, Chief Mate Shane Murphy and Third Mate Colin Wright are all members of MM&P.


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES APPROVES BELATED THANK YOU BILL

The House of Representatives last week passed HR 23, the Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2009. The legislation, which was approved by voice vote, was introduced in Congress by Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.). It would grant a monthly benefit to merchant mariners who served during World War II.

During the floor debate, Filner specifically mentioned that MM&P and the other maritime unions support the bill, and he instructed that the joint letter on the legislation which the unions recently sent to the Hill be included in the Congressional Record.
 
This action by the House sends the issue over to the Senate, where Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has once again introduced the companion bill, S 663. The Senate version of the bill now has 26 cosponsors.

During World War II, merchant mariners suffered the highest casualty rate of any branch of the Armed Forces other than the Marine Corps. Enemy forces sank more than 800 merchant vessels between 1941 and 1944. Yet, despite this record of exemplary service, merchant mariners were not given the formal recognition and benefits granted other services by Congress through the 1945 GI Bill of Rights. In fact, no legislation to recognize the contributions made by World War II merchant mariners was enacted until Congress extended limited veterans’ status to them in 1988.

During consideration of HR 23 in the last Congress, changes were made to the legislation that would, among other things, reduce its overall cost. For example, it no longer would provide benefits to survivors’ spouses. In addition, those who have received benefits under the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (the GI Bill – PL 78-346) would not be eligible for benefits under HR 23. 

In the last Congress, then-Sen. Barack Obama (and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton) cosponsored similar legislation. MM&P and MIRAID will be communicating with the Administration to try to solicit the President’s public support for the bill and to help convince the Senate to act this year.


MM&P, OTHER MARITIME UNIONS, CALL ON GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE FORCE PROTECTION FOR U.S.-FLAG VESSELS IN PIRATE-INFESTED WATERS

MM&P and the rest of the nation’s maritime unions have called on the government to provide force protection for U.S.-flag vessels in high-risk waters. The unions called on the government to act in a statement submitted for the record at the May 5 hearing on piracy before the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. MAERSK ALABAMA Captain Richard Phillips, the MM&P member who was held hostage last month by Somali pirates, presented testimony at the hearing in the company of MM&P member Captain James Staples.

“American mariners working aboard U.S.-flag vessels continue to face an immediate and ongoing threat from international pirates,” the unions said in their statement. They called on Congress and the Administration to immediately provide U.S.-flag vessels with the force protection necessary to prevent any further acts of piracy against them. “We strongly believe it is the responsibility of the U.S. government to provide the protection necessary to ensure the safety of life and property aboard U.S.-flag vessels,” the unions said. “When a vessel flies the U.S. flag, it becomes an extension of the United States itself, regardless of where it is operating.” 

“As an essential first step, the U.S. government should immediately provide protection for U.S.-flag vessels operating on sea lanes where piracy is a serious threat,” the unions said. “This protection should entail military escorts or military security detachments aboard the vessel. We also believe that a private security detachment could provide necessary protection. However, it should be noted that there are serious concerns and risks associated with this approach. The employment of private security detachments can, for example, raise command and liability issues which must be thoroughly considered.”

The unions closed by addressing the suggestions coming from some quarters “that the answer to the threat posed by pirates is to simply arm the crew. We categorically reject the notion that this should be considered the best or even a primary solution to the problem of piracy. Rather, we believe that to the degree this option is considered, it should be considered as only one part of a response. Even then, it should entail no more than a few highly trained individuals who have extensive training and expertise in the use of weapons.”


ADMINISTRATION’S COAST GUARD BUDGET REQUEST AUSTERE, REP. CUMMINGS SAYS

Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, says the Obama Administration’s budget request for the Coast Guard is “austere” and “does not appear to fund any new initiatives.” Cummings made the remarks in an official statement that coincided with a subcommittee hearing on “Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Requests for the Coast Guard, Maritime Administration and Federal Maritime Commission.”

The President requested slightly less than $9.5 billion in Coast Guard funding for fiscal year 2010. This request would provide an increase of approximately $371 million, or 4.1 percent, over the service’s fiscal year 2009 budget. The President requested $6.55 billion for Coast Guard operating expenses in fiscal year 2010, an increase of more than $361.2 million, or 5.8 percent, over the fiscal year 2009 level. But the President requested just under $1.4 billion to fund all planned Coast Guard capital acquisitions in fiscal year 2010, an approximately $100.6 million decrease from the fiscal year 2009 appropriated level. Of this requested amount, $1.05 billion is for the Deepwater program, an approximately $72 million increase from the funding for fiscal year 2009. The budget requests $340 million for non-Deepwater capital expenses, including $10 million for the repair of shore-side facilities and the recapitalization of aids-to-navigation. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $98 million for the rehabilitation of Coast Guard shore and cutter assets, of which the service has announced that $88 million will go to shore facilities.

“The service has a backlog of shore facility repair needs exceeding $1 billion,” Cummings said, “and many Coast Guard personnel continue to work in trailers or in rapidly aging buildings. To be frank, some work in substandard conditions, and I continue to believe that this backlog must be reduced to ensure that all Coast Guard personnel work in safe and modern facilities.”

“The fiscal year 2010 budget request can accurately be described as ‘austere,’” Cummings said. “While it would fund the operation of new assets recently acquired by the Coast Guard and would fund the addition of 74 new positions in the marine safety function in addition to the 276 positions added in last year’s budget, the President’s request does not appear to fund any broad new Coast Guard initiatives and even contains a slight reduction in the service’s overall authorization of military positions,” Cummings said. “While we obviously strongly support the addition of new personnel to the marine safety program, other mission areas are also stretched and I continue to believe that the Coast Guard’s resources – particularly its personnel resources – must be more closely aligned with its mission needs.” Cummings said the members of the subcommittee look forward to the opportunity to examine the budget request in detail.


MM&P INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT INDUCTED INTO MARITIME HALL OF FAME

MM&P International President Tim Brown was inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame last week at a ceremony attended by rank-and-file MM&P members, Atlantic Ports Vice President Rich May, Pilots East Coast Regional Representative Tim Ferrie and representatives of MM&P-contracted companies. Brown was introduced by James T. Shirley, of JTS Marine LCC, who called the MM&P International President, “an outstanding mariner and an outstanding person, who has succeeded in bringing support from policy makers and the public at large to the American Merchant Marine.” Brown took the opportunity to thank MM&P members, the MM&P General Executive Board and MM&P headquarters staff, in particular Audrey Scharmann and Diane Chatham, for their commitment and support. He said he hoped that the attempted hijacking of MAERSK ALABAMA would focus attention on the needs of the world’s seafarers and heighten the public’s awareness of the important role played by the U.S.-flag shipping industry in our nation’s commerce and security.


REMINDER ABOUT COAST GUARD DRUG TESTING COMPLIANCE PAPERWORK

The MM&P Plans office has been receiving calls from members who are having problems renewing or upgrading their mariner license because of uncertainty regarding changes in the U.S. Coast Guard policy on drug test paperwork. The Coast Guard will no longer accept a copy of mariners’ drug certificates or a copy of the Medical Review Officer Letter (which worked fine until recently). Information on the new policy was e-mailed to the MM&P Halls some time ago but it appears not everyone is aware of the new requirements.

To expedite drug testing compliance when upgrading or renewing your merchant mariner license, you must complete section I of the DOT/USCG Periodic Drug Testing Form (CG-719), which is posted at www.uscg.mil/forms/cg/CG_719P.pdf, and then forward it to the Medical Review Officer (MRO) at University Services. University Services will complete the form and return it to you so you can include it with your renewal or upgrade package. The form must be an original when you turn it into the Coast Guard so make sure that you include your home address on the initial request to the MRO.

The address for the Medical Review Officer Letter is: MRO, University Services, 10551 Decatur Rd., Ste. 200, Philadelphia, PA  19154, Attn: Colleen Ward. The fax number is (215) 637-7944 and the e-mail is cward@uservices.com.


MATSON NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE

Contract negotiations between Matson Navigation Company and the licensed officers’ bargaining coalition, consisting of the American Radio Association (ARA), the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and the Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P), were conducted on May 14 at the joint MEBA/MM&P Hiring Hall in Los Angeles. Successor agreements for the coalition unions were discussed. The parties agreed to meet again on May 21-22. This news item is jointly released for publication as an update to all ARA, MM&P and MEBA members.


MITAGS AND PMI ANNOUNCE NEW PROGRAM: INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS IN THE MARITIME INDUSTRY/EPA GENERAL PERMIT FOR COMMERCIAL VESSELS

MITAGS and PMI have added the “Introduction to Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry/EPA General Permit for Commercial Vessels” program to the course schedule. The program has been designed as two, one-day modules. Module one is an introduction to the environmental aspects of vessel operations and the basic structure of the marine regulatory environment. It is intended to give vessel operators a broad perspective on the potential environmental impact of their operations and a greater appreciation for why a vessel general permit is required. Module two is devoted to the vessel general permit. Attendees will be given a copy of the permit. This module will involve discussion and analysis of the permit language. It will also focus on how the permit requirements apply to the specific vessels operated by the students.  Note: module one is a prerequisite for module two.

 The course will be held at MITAGS May 27-8, June 16-17 and July 29-30. For more information or to register for the course at MITAGS, contact Robert Becker: (443) 989-3235, (866) 656-5569 or rbecker@mitags.org.

The course will be held at PMI May 27-28 and June 23-24. For more information or to register for the PMI course, contact Gregg Trunnell: (206) 838-7422, (888) 893-7829 or gtrunnell@mates.org.


NEW HOURS FOR MM&P TAMPA HALL

Starting May 1, MM&P’s Tampa Hall changed its hours of operation. The schedule is now 9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please call the Tampa Hall at (813) 247-2164.


COAST GUARD SEEKS NEW MEMBERS FOR NAVSAC

The Coast Guard is seeking applications for membership on the Navigation Safety Advisory Council (NAVSAC), a Coast Guard sponsored industry advisory committee that provides advice and makes recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on a wide range of issues related to the prevention of collisions, rammings and groundings. The subject matter includes inland and international rules of the road, navigation regulations and equipment, routing measures, marine information, diving safety and aids to navigation systems. The committee usually meets at least once a year at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington. Special meetings may also be called.
Subcommittee meetings are held to consider specific problems as required. To achieve gender and ethnic diversity among the committee membership, the Coast Guard is especially interested in receiving applications from qualified women and minorities. Those interested in applying for membership can obtain an application form by writing to: Commandant (CG-54121), U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 Second Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20593-0001 or by calling John Bobb at (202) 372-1532.

If you are an MM&P member interested in finding out more about serving on government advisory committees, call MM&P headquarters staffers Richard Plant or Mike Rodriguez at 410-850-8700.


NEW PAPERWORK REQUIREMENT FOR CIVMARS DEPLOYING TO THE AFRICOM AOR

Before deployment to the AFRICOM AOR, all civilian mariners will now be required to fill out DD Form 1833, the Isolated Persons Report (ISOPREP). The ISOREP is a document intended to facilitate recovery of a CIVMAR who is isolated, detained, missing or captured.  It contains information that enables a recovery force to authenticate identity. By properly completing the ISOPREP, the Department of Defense says, CIVMARS will play a role in facilitating their own recovery. Completion of the ISOPREP will be conducted while CIVMARS are in a duty status and located in the pool. Details for filling out the ISOREP will be available in the pool.

As before, CIVMARS deploying to the AFRICOM AOR will also be required to take two training courses: Antiterrorism/Force Protection Level 1 (AT/FP Level 1) and Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE 100) training.


NATIONAL MARITIME DAY COMMEMORATION ABOARD THE HISTORIC NUCLEAR SHIP SAVANNAH, IN THE PORT OF BALTIMORE

The USMMA Alumni Foundation KP Chesapeake Chapter and the Association of Maryland Pilots present a Maritime Day Commemoration at Canton Terminal Pier 13, 4601 Newgate Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224. The day-long event will begin at 10:30 a.m. and feature tours of NS SAVANNAH and USMMA TV LIBERATOR, the NOAA Research Ship RV BAY HYDRO II and Coast Guard vessels.

RSVP and remittance are required by May 20. Port security requires that your name, as presented on your photo ID, appear on the pre-registration roster at the gate. RSVP to Gary Hicks, 42 Idlewild Street, Bel Air, MD 21014; tel: (410) 420-0080 or e-mail: kpchesapeake@comcast.net.  Event entry cost (includes luncheon): $30. Please make check payable to: KPChesapeake. 


PRICE OF 1ST CLASS STAMP INCREASES TO 44 CENTS

The price of a 1st class stamp increased to 44 cents on May 11.


COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.  The courses that are eligible for equivalency are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on www.mitags.org in the MM&P Member Section. You may also request a copy from Diane Ford (dford@mitags.org or call 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the union hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company’s training requirements!


USCG AND OMSA SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

The Coast Guard and the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) have signed an agreement designed to promote safety in the offshore industry and to protect marine environments. The agreement was signed by Otto Candies III, chairman of OMSA, and Rear Adm. Brian Salerno, Coast Guard assistant commandant for marine safety, security and stewardship. “The Coast Guard remains committed to working with our partners in the offshore support vessel industry to create a common culture for achieving our shared goal of safe and secure maritime trade,” Salerno said in an official statement. “An open dialogue with our maritime stakeholders is a critical component of the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Program and this new partnership provides a forum for that two-way communication.”


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of July, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS � (1-Day) Automatic Identification System: 6/22
ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 6/23
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 7/27
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/25
BST � Basic Safety Training: 6/1
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 7/10

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/22
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 7/6
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 6/29
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 7/27
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/15
CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 7/13
CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 7/20
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/1, 7/13
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/8, 7/20
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 6/1, 8/3
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/25

CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of enclosed Spaces (3 day): 7/13
ENVIRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / EPA General Permit for Commercial Vessels (2 day): 5/27, 6/16, 7/29
ENVIRO-REGS – Introduction to Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry (1 Day): 5/27, 6/5, 6/16, 7/29
FF-BADV � Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 6/1
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/24
LNG AWAR � Liquefied Natural Gas Awareness (2 day): 5/27

MEDIA RSP � Media Response Workshop: 6/26, 7/9
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 6/8
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/8
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/13

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 7/18
MSC-DC � Damage Control: Special Evening MSC-DC Class: 7/16
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 6/22

[OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
OICNW-CHS-BAS � Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage: 5/25
OICNW-TCNAV/CO � Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/22

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 6/23, 7/6
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 6/8, 6/22
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 6/16
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 6/22
SHS-EMR-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/22

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge (Dangerous Liquids): 5/25

…remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at www.mates.org)

May 2009
26SEC VCF REFRESHER
26-29SEC VCF

June 2009
1-5ECDIS
1-3Security VCF
4Security Refresher
8-19GMDSS
8-12Radar Observer Unlimited
8-12TPIC
12Flashing Light
15Radar Renewal
15-19Medical Care Provider
15-26Medical Person-in-Charge
22-24Security VCF
25Security Refresher

July 2009
6-10Basic Shiphandling
13Radar Renewal
14-17 ARPA
13-17Emergency Shiphandling

August 2009
3Radar Renewal
4-7ARPA
3-5Security VCF
10-14 ECDIS
10-14 TPIC

September 2009
21Radar Renewal
22-25ARPA
21-25Medical Care Provider
21-2Medical Person-in-Charge

For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High-quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI logo! We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order and exact cash. Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 for prices and to order. If we don’t have your size, we’ll be glad to special order for you at no extra cost.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 5-15-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,331.32 1,680.14 882.88
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
40.90
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
81.55
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
24.54
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
12.97
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
11.73
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
18.72
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.71
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
21.10
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.75
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
13.43
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
16.02
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.36
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
15.17
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.88
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.68
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
9.36
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
9.32
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
9.64
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.18
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
21.55
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.00
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
11.54
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
12.74
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.48
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
50.28
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
12.36
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
41.41
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
12.94
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
27.87
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
21.96
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
17.34
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.78
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
10.29
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
10.67
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
10.36
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
9.99
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.71
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
6.59
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.67
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
23.02
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
31.31
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
19.79





~ Reminders ~



 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

IOMM&P
700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.



MSC PHYSICALS

Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.


MM&P FCU NEWS

GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

6.50 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

6.75 percent for 25-48 months;
7.50 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
8.00 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.


WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
 

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.


 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



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. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2009, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.