Wheelhouse Weekly – Oct. 21, 2014

October 22nd 2014 ,

Volume 18 . . . Number 42 . . . Oct. 21, 2014


In this issue:

Important Reminder:


Job Opportunities:

Upcoming Events:

Other News:


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


Mike Rodriguez was sworn in Oct. 20 as the new deputy administrator of the Maritime Administration. “Mike’s significant experience sailing as a U.S. merchant mariner will be of great value to the MARAD leadership team,” said Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen. “Coupled with his distinguished U.S. Navy Reserve service and congressional staff experience, he is a perfect fit for the agency and I look forward to welcoming him onboard.”

Over the course of his career, Rodriguez sailed with MM&P and served as executive assistant to former MM&P President Tim Brown. He joins MARAD from the Navy’s National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office. Prior to that, he served in Military Sealift Command and in other active duty roles in the Navy. He also served as a member of the professional staff of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Marine Transportation. He sailed for 16 years as an MM&P deck officer aboard commercial and military charter vessels including tankers, cargo ships, offshore service vessels and container ships. He was an instructor at Kings Point, supervising midshipmen’s shipboard training. He is a graduate of Kings Point, the University of Baltimore and Dowling College in New York.

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MM&P officials met recently with officials of Military Sealift Command (MSC) in one of the biannual labor-management forum meetings aimed at addressing issues of importance to union members. The forums are intended to complement existing collective bargaining agreements by facilitating the exchange of ideas and information. MM&P officials at last week’s meeting were President Don Marcus, Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski and Chief of Staff Klaus Luhta. The participants addressed some of the concerns of licensed and unlicensed professional mariners who work aboard government vessels and contractor-operated military ships. Among the issues discussed: liberty restrictions, the need for increased bandwidth for internet and e-mail access and reasonable accommodation for illness/injury.

The meeting, which was hosted by the Seafarers International Union, included representatives of all the maritime unions that represent Civil Service mariners and those who sail aboard government-contracted ships.

Although there are currently no MSC ships in West Africa, union officials received a detailed briefing from MSC on concerns related to the Ebola epidemic. MSC is working with other government agencies on fleet-centric Ebola prevention protocols, to include best practices for screening host nation partners. Prior to any ship deploying to the area, MSC assured the unions that protocols will be put in place to deal with mariners’ concerns. “Rest assured that MM&P will negotiate over the implementation of any and all such protocols to ensure the safety of our members,” said Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski.

During the meeting, MSC detailed Ebola guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Coast Guard and the International Maritime Organization for use when interviewing a person who presents with “flu-like symptoms.” The symptoms are important if the person may have traveled to an Ebola-virus-affected area (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal or Sierra Leone). The symptoms are: fever of over 100.4 degrees; headache; muscle pain; vomiting; diarrhea; abdominal pain; and unexplained hemorrhage. For a person to be identified as a possible Ebola patient, he or she must have had recent travel to the affected areas or contact with the body fluids of an Ebola patient. There is no evidence of airborne transmission. MM&P and the other maritime unions were assured frequent updates and timely communication from MSC.

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MM&P has joined other federal employee unions in asking Congress to stop implementation of cuts to the long-term temporary duty (TDY) per diem, lodging and incidental expenses for Department of Defense (DOD) workers on long-term travel. In an Oct. 23 letter to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Sen. Richard Durbin, chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, the unions said pending cuts would penalize “the very workers who volunteer to spend long periods of time away from their families and homes in order to help support our troops.”

DOD announced last December that it would cut by 25 percent the lodging and per diem reimbursements to workers on travel for over 30 days and by 45 percent for travel in excess of 180 days. The department also announced the elimination of several reimbursable incidental expenses for civilian workers on long-term TDY, including the $2 a day laundry expense and ATM charges for using the government-mandated credit card. The unions have been raising concerns over the cuts since they were first announced. “We asked,” they wrote, “what the department’s expectations were for the quality of lodging for federal workers on long term TDY if the DOD is paying only 75 percent of the current rate in places such as Washington, D.C., San Diego or San Francisco.” The unions also question the department’s insistence that workers pay out of pocket for the cost of using the government credit card, even though they are required to use that card while on travel.

Among those who have protested the cuts is a bipartisan group of 28 members of the House of Representatives. The group, led by Washington State Congressman Derek Kilmer, wrote a letter to DOD arguing that the cuts “would cause an undue burden on a workforce that has already been stricken with furloughs, government shutdowns and three years of pay freezes…”

The cuts to incidentals were implemented Oct. 1. The per diem cuts take effect Nov. 1. DOD “has overstepped in attempting to achieve savings by asking their workers to pay out of their pocket for decent lodging, meals and even for such things as laundry,” the unions said.

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An American marine is considered a suspect in a murder investigation that has led to five U.S. ships being temporarily “retained” in Subic Bay, the Philippines, on orders of U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Samuel Locklear. The ships are the USS PELELIU, the USS GERMANTOWN, the USNS SACAGAWEA, the USNS WASHINGTON CHAMBERS and the WESTPAC EXPRESS. The marine considered a suspect in the murder, which took place Oct. 11, is being held aboard the amphibious warship USS PELELIU. There was no word on when the ships would be released. Civilian mariners represented by MM&P work aboard the USNS ships.

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All MM&P members are reminded that the deadline to vote on the proposed merger between MM&P and International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 333 is approaching. A 90-day ballot was mailed to MM&P members on Sept. 4. A 60-day ballot was mailed to Local 333 members on Sept. 12. MM&P and ILA Local 333 are moving forward on the planned merger within the context of their mutual affiliation with the ILA.

MM&P members can vote by mail or by Internet. Mailed ballots must be received by 0900 on Dec. 4. MM&P members can vote by Internet at or the balloting agency site, If an MM&P member does not receive a ballot, or if the ballot is lost or destroyed, a duplicate may be requested by contacting MM&P by e-mail, fax or letter: Star Dorsey, 410-850-8700, Ext. 110; 700 Maritime Blvd., Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953; fax(410) 850-0973;

Members of Local 333 must mail their voted ballot so that it reaches Election Services Solutions, P.O. Box 9224, Garden City, NY, 11530-9608, no later than 0900 on Nov. 12.

If the affiliation plan is approved by members of both unions, Local 333 will become the new MM&P Inland “Atlantic Maritime Group.”

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Celebrate Halloween this year with a purchase of American union-made candy. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s resource site, Labor 411, has an extensive list of union-made sweets. Here are some made by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union: Baby Ruths; Rolos; Caramellos; Mary Janes; 5th Avenue Chocolate Bars; Ghirardelli chocolates; Halloween Candy Corn by Herman Goelitz Company; and Hershey’s Candy Corn Kisses.

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There’s a lot of buzz going around about the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Union members can already qualify for a 15 percent monthly discount with AT&T, as well as up to $250 in rebates from Union Plus. Plus: AT&T has extended its trade-in deal through Oct. 31. Trade your old iPhone in for a substantial credit to put toward a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. Buy your phone online and get a $100 credit when you add a new AT&T Next line. Get double the amount of data offered on Mobile Share Value plans with 15GB to 50 GB of data. Be sure to use discount code (FAN number 3508840) when you switch or upgrade via the AT&T Premier site or at an AT&T store to get your 15 percent monthly discount. To find out more, go to and search “iPhone.”

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IThe Oregon Board of Maritime Pilots and the Columbia River Bar Pilots are accepting applications to fill vacancies expected to occur over the next few years. Applicants must have at least one year of sea time as Master on ships over 5,000 GT to apply and two years’ sea time to be accepted. The Columbia River Bar Pilots are an equal opportunity organization looking for Captains with a broad range of experience capable of working in the demanding conditions of the winter bar. Successful applicants must have the command personality needed to make the wide range of decisions the job requires. They must also be willing and able to contribute to running the business side of the organization.

If you are interested, please contact: Susan Johnson, Administrator, Oregon Board of Maritime Pilots, 800 N.E. Oregon St. #15, Suite 507, Portland, OR 97232;; 971-673-1530(phone); 971-673-1531 (fax).

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The following meetings have been scheduled at MM&P Pacific Ports union halls during the month of November: Honolulu, Nov. 6, directly after the 1000 job call with Pacific Ports Vice President Dave Boatner; Los Angeles-Long Beach, Nov. 12, directly after the 1100 job call with Dave Boatner and MM&P President Don Marcus; San Francisco-Oakland, Nov. 12, directly after the 1100 job call with Coast Agent Jeremy Hope; Seattle, Nov. 13, directly after 1100 job call with Dave Boatner and Don Marcus.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held at the MM&P Seattle Hall Nov. 13-14. If you would like to participate in the course, please sign up with the Seattle Dispatcher: 206-441-8700.

There is no sea-time requirement to take the Offshore Orientation 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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Port workers at Aqaba Container Terminals (ACT) in Jordan are celebrating after an agreement was signed between management and the General Union of Port Workers, an affiliate of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). The workers went on strike last week over contract changes and management’s refusal to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. During the course of the strike, over 150 workers were arrested. A spokesperson for the union said that support from the ITF and its affiliates had been a key factor in the workers’ ability to achieve a contract. “This victory came not just from our members’ determination, but from the support of the ITF and its affiliates,” he said. “Our workers never lost sight of how many colleagues were supporting us across this region and worldwide.”

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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: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 11/18/14, 1/20/15, 3/31/15, 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/2/15, 4/6/15

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: 11/20/14, 2/4/15, 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 5/20/15, 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

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

BT-Revalidation –8/5/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/27/14, 4/13/15, 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 11/10/14

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

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/12/15, 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: 11/10/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 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): 11/17/14,12/8/14, 1/26/15, 3/30/15, 6/22/15, 8/10/15, 10/26/15, 11/30/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/27/14, 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): 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 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): 10/27/14, 11/10/14, 12/8/14, 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: 11/17/14, 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/3/14, 5/11/15, 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/3/14, 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, 6/1/15

DPA – 10/27

ECDIS-OIC – 2/16/15

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

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 12/1/14

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: 11/19/14, 4/15/15, 5/19/15, 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): 11/17/14, 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: 1/5/15, 3/2/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 11/30/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/20/14, 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 5/20/15, 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – Contact Admissions

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

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 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: 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 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: 11/8/14, 12/6/14, 1/10/15, 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, 8/19/15, 11/1/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 2/23/15, 8/17/15, 10/26/15

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

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

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 11/10/14, 2/16/15, 8/8/15, 10/23/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 11/14/14, 2/20/15, 8/6/15, 10/21/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –11/17/14, 2/22/15, 8/12/15, 10/27/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –11/18/14, 2/23/15, 8/13/15, 10/28/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 11/17/14, 1/19/15, 3/30/15, 8/3/15, 9/21/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 10/29/14, 11/12/14, 12/3/14, 12/10/14, 1/7/15, 1/14/15, 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, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/12/15, 2/2/15, 3/23/15, 6/1/15, 7/27/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/6/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 11/17/14, 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 – Contact Admissions

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

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/5/15, 7/6/15

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

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Train the Trainer: Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 10/22/14, 2/4/15, 5/20/15, 6/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15

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 online at For registration, send an e-mail to our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at or call her at (206) 838-1126.

October 2014

27-29 Emergency Procedures
30-31 Search and Rescue

November 2014

3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-21 GMDSS
17-20 ARPA

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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 © 2014. 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