Wheelhouse Weekly – Sept. 29, 2015

September 29th 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 39. . . Sept. 29, 2015


In this issue:


News for MM&P Members:



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As this issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly is being distributed, there has been no agreement in Congress on keeping the federal government funded past Sept. 30, when the the fiscal year ends. Congress is required to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government running until an omnibus bill, which will take the government through the next fiscal year, can be passed.

In an interview Sept. 27 on the CBS news show “Face the Nation,” outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner said he expects that the Senate will pass a continuing resolution to fund the government and that the continuing resolution will be taken up and passed by the House in time to avert a shutdown.

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New York Congressman Steve Israel has introduced legislation that would keep Kings Point open in the event of a federal government shutdown on Oct. 1. His bill, the Midshipmen Education Certainty Act, would provide for automatic funding to Kings Point so midshipmen will not have their education and path to graduation interrupted.

During the 16-day shutdown in 2013, Kings Point was forced to cease operations and to send students home.

As noted by Congressman Israel: “Our midshipmen, who have committed themselves to serving our country, should not have to be faced with the risk of not graduating on time because of a government shutdown, which is no fault of their own.”

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The AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) has launched a Huffington Post series exploring the connection between a strong middle class and a robust transportation system. The series is entitled “Moving Forward: Lifting More Americans Into the Middle Class by Modernizing Our Transportation System.”

“Decades of wrong-headed ideology and public policies backed by the corporate lobby and extremists have dramatically altered America’s economic landscape,” TTD said in announcing the new series.

“Advancements made by generations of workers–including fair wages and decent benefits, safe working conditions and the right to form unions and bargain collectively–have been beaten down in favor of dangerous austerity policies, a tax code that coddles the rich, rigged trade deals that send good jobs overseas and what seems like free rein by employers to break unions.”

TTD said these policies have led to “an intolerable wage gap,” the lowest union density since the 1930s and 35 years of wage stagnation for working Americans.

Investment in the country’s aging transportation infrastructure could improve the situation dramatically, TTD says.

The series quotes a study by the Duke Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness which demonstrates that underinvestment in transportation costs our country more than 900,000 jobs each year and makes the United States less competitive than 15 of our major trading partners.

For every $1 billion invested in transportation infrastructure, more than 21,000 jobs are created across multiple sectors of the economy, including operations, maintenance, construction and design. When components needed to build transportation projects, including steel, rail cars, and buses, are manufactured in the United States, the economic ripple effect becomes even greater.

MM&P is one of the 32 TTD member unions. To follow the series and find out more about TTD, go to

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Workers at a truck parts factory in Alabama have voted 2-to-1 to join the United Automobile Workers (UAW). The factory, C.V.G., makes seats for trucks.

Employees interviewed after the vote said they needed union representation because of low pay, ever-increasing health insurance costs and the growing use of temporary workers. Workers at the plant are now paid a maximum of $15.80 an hour, and temporary workers earn even less: $9.70 an hour with no insurance at all. The plant employs 150 regular workers and 60 temporary workers.

“I think this shows that workers do want change and they can stand up and win in the South,” UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada told a reporter for The New York Times. The National Labor Relations Board is expected to certify the unofficial results next week.

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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has barred the Indonesian-flagged MV NOAH SATU from entering Australian ports, citing the fact that the ship has been detained four times since August 2013.

Authorities in Australia said the ship had been detained for failing vessel compliance standards as well as safety and emissions regulations. Aboard the ship, inspectors found faulty navigational charts, expired, unmaintained safety equipment and unapproved machinery. The operators of the ship have also been accused of failing to comply with reporting requirements on hours of work and rest.

The NOAH SATU is the fifth vessel to be banned from Australian ports since 2013. Four of the banned vessels have been Indonesian-flagged. A Liberian-flagged ship, the MV VEGA AURIGA, was banned from Australian ports in August 2013.

In related news, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has lodged a complaint about the treatment of the crew of MV APELLIS, a Panama-flagged grain carrier.

A surveyor from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) who boarded the vessel recently in the Esperance port zone found a number of serious deficiencies, including one crewmember working beyond medical restrictions, unpaid wages, no working washing machine and poor-quality food. Water was also being rationed. Seafarers aboard the ship reported that they were not being repatriated as required by their employment agreements.

ITF Assistant National Coordinator Matthew Purcell said some crewmembers had not been paid in eight months.

The authorities have said they will hold the vessel in Australia until the deficiencies are resolved. Purcell said some members of the crew had not been paid for months, many said they were hungry and inspectors found a double bookkeeping system that showed crew were paid according to a contract when in reality they were paid nothing at all.

The MV APELLIS is owned by the Greek shipping agency Pyrsos Shipping Co. Ltd. and is registered in Panama.

“The AMSA detention of this vessel for breaches of the MLC is a clear statement to both the flag state and the owner to address the abuses occurring on board,” says David Hammond, CEO and Founder of Human Rights at Sea.

“Breaches of both labor rights and human rights appear to be common. Some of the reported issues include cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of the crew. The question is, what will the flag state will do in this case?”

ITF President Paddy Crumlin said he is worried there will be an increase in these incidents of exploitation as Australia’s government has moved towards further relaxing shipping regulation through amendments to the Coastal Trading Act.

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Per the MM&P Offshore Shipping Rules, a new requirement enters into effect for all Offshore applicants seeking to obtain C-Class membership after Jan. 1, 2016.

Applicants who apply for C-Class membership after that date will be required to participate in the new Navigation Skills Assessment Program (NSAP). The NSAP will be an entry requirement of membership, not a training course. The requirement does not affect current class C-B-A membership or applicants who become group C members prior to Jan. 1, 2016.

The next meeting of the MM&P General Executive Board (GEB) will take place on Dec. 9-10, 2015. This is the last meeting for which the NSAP will not be a requirement for membership. All qualified applicants are urged to submit their paperwork and pay their initiation fees promptly if they wish to apply for membership at the Dec. 9 GEB meeting.

The NSAP uses custom simulation scenarios and assessment criteria based on industry-defined knowledge and skill requirements to objectively measure the mariner’s performance. The results: knowledge and skill gaps are identified and recommendations are made. The acceptable level of achievement to allow an applicant into Group C membership was developed by a committee of MM&P masters. MITAGS developed the simulation.

Areas assessed during the simulation include: COLREGS/Rules of the Road; Situational Awareness; Bridge Resource Management; Procedures; and Communication.

Performance at each measurement point is rated: Highly Effective; Effective; Not Effective; or Unsatisfactory. A comprehensive report is generated at the end of each assessment session for review purposes. This report includes the evaluator’s observations and comments and general recommendations that address the individual’s knowledge and skills. Recommendations may include further training or obtaining additional underway watch-standing experience.

The observations and recommendations will not be shared with any employers or listed on the individual mariner’s MITAGS transcript. The results will be sent to the Membership Administrator at MM&P HQ and will only be used for internal MM&P dissemination at GEB meetings in considering advancement of applicants into Group C membership.

There is no time limit within which applicants are required to take the NSAP. There is no established limit to the number of times an applicant may be assessed. Should the applicant not successfully complete the program, he/she may retake the assessment after an additional 90 days of sea time on MM&P vessels.

The simulation scenario is developed to ensure the competence of navigation officers in keeping with industry core values and to validate officer proficiency in operating MM&P vessels at the level of performance commensurate with their rating as set forth by the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Part A-II) for Deck Officers, federal regulations and basic company operating procedures.

Applicants with fewer than 240 days of sea time on MM&P vessels may not take the assessment. The sea time requirement is to assure that the applicant will have the necessary watch-standing experience to successfully pass the watch-standing and navigational standards components of the program.

At least one NSAP will be held at MITAGS every month between now and Jan. 1, 2016.The first three sessions have been scheduled for Oct. 20-21, Oct. 22-23 and Nov. 4-5.

To register for the NSAP, contact the MITAGS Admissions Office at or call 410-859-5700. Please note that you cannot register for the assessment on the MITAGS website.

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A few months ago, in celebration of Steamship Historical Society of America’s (SSHSA) 80th Anniversary, many MM&P members were sent a complimentary copy of PowerShips magazine. SSHSA hopes that the MM&P members who received this complimentary copy enjoyed the features, photos and cause, and we hope it compelled these members to join SSHSA.

Some MM&P members requested further information, and many did subscribe to PowerShips. If you enjoyed your issue, SSHSA asks that you consider joining now for a special MM&P incentive of five magazines for the price of four. Please call (401) 463-3570 or e-mail to join.

If you did not receive a copy, SSHSA would like to provide you a free sample so that you may become familiar with PowerShips magazine. Simply call SSHSA at (401) 463-3570 or e-mail and let them know you’re a MM&P member and they’ll take it from there. It’s important that organizations like SSHSA gain our support, so that they can continue to tell the stories of our great maritime heritage.

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The monthly membership meeting will be held at the New York/New Jersey Union Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 14, immediately after job call. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting. Remember that the New York/New Jersey Union Hall is now located at 570 Broad St., Newark, N.J., 07102. The phone number and fax number are the same as before the move.

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There will be an Offshore Membership meeting in the San Francisco/Oakland Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 27, immediately after the 1100 job call. MM&P Pacific Ports Vice President Dave Boatner and Coast Agent Jeremy Hope will attend the meeting. All members in the area are urged to attend.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held starting at 0900 on Oct. 13-14, Tuesday andWednesday, in the New York/New Jersey Union Hall at 570 Broad St., Newark, N.J., 07102. The course will also be held in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Union Hall on Nov. 18-19, Wednesday and Thursday.

There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.

If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the hall at which the course has been scheduled. The phone number for the New York/New Jersey Hall is (201) 963-1900. The phone number for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall is (310) 834-7201.

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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 – 10/12/15, 4/18/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/26/16, 4/5/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/29/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/1/16, 4/4/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/9/15, 2/29/16, 05/23/2016

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/2/16, 04/13/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 10/5/15, 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16

BT-Revalidation –11/3/15, 05/10/16

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

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/25/16, 3/28/16, 06/20/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 10/19/15, 1/4/16, 3/7/16, 06/06/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/5/15, 04/04/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 10/5/15, 11/2/15, 11/30/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16,2/22/16, 3/21/16, 06/13/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 10/26/15, 11/2/15,11/9/15, 11/16/15, 11/30/15, 12/7/15, 12/14/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/14/16, 4/4/16, 4/11/16,5/23/16, 6/27/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/16/15, 05/02/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 10/12/15, 3/28/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 04/18/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15, 1/11/16, 2/8/16,3/14/16, 04/18/16, 05/09/16, 06/13/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15, 1/18/16,2/15/16, 3/21/16, 04/25/16, 05/16/16, 06/20/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/30/15, 2/29/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/9/15, 05/09/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/9/15, 05/02/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/16

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 11/12/15, 3/2/16, 05/25/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 10/19/15, 11/9/15, 12/14/15, 1/4/16, 2/8/16, 3/21/16, 4/18/16, 5/9/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 10/5/15, 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 11/11/15, 1/26/16, 04/19/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/22/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/7/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/16/15

LAP- 4/4/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/25/16

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 10/19/15, 11/30/15, 3/7/16, 06/06/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/10/15, 1/27/16, 3/1/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 10/19/15

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 10/12/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/28/16, 4/25/16, 5/16/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/7/15, 1/4/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 2/1/15, 3/14/16, 05/02/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/12/15, 12/7/15, 1/4/15, 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/5/15, 12/12/15, 1/9/16, 1/31/16, 3/19/16, 05/14/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 10/29/15, 3/8/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 10/27/15, 3/5/16 (March is 5 evenings)

*MSC-ENVPRO – 10/31/15, 2/28/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/22/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/19/15, 10/31/15, 1/4/16, 2/29/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic –10/17/15, 2/26/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –10/23/15, 10/30/15, 1/8/16, 3/4/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –10/24/15, 11/4/15, 1/10/16, 3/5/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/25/16, 5/9/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15, 1/6/16, 1/13/16, 2/3/16, 2/10/16, 2/24/16, 3/9/16, 3/16/16, 04/06/16, 04/20/16, 05/04/16, 05/18/16, 06/08/16, 06/22/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/18/16, 2/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/19/15, 04/18/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 11/2/15, 2/15/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/25/16, 3/7/16, 05/02/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/4/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/22/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 10/7/15, 10/17/15, 2/15/16, 04/25/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/21/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/29/16

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

October 2015

5th Radar Renewal
5-9 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-9 Basic Shiphandling
5-9 Engine Resource Managemet
12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Leadership & Managerial Skills
12-23 GMDSS
19-23 Radar Observer Unlimited
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
19-23 MEECE
26-30 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)

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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 address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on