News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 08, 2008

September 8th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 36. . . .September 8, 2008

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.


MM&P NEWORLEANS HALL WILL RE-OPEN TODAY; MEMBERSHIP MEETING WEDNESDAY

The MM&P Gulf Coast Vice President has announced that MM&P’s New Orleans Hall will re-open today, Sept. 8. The hall was closed when officials ordered the evacuation of the city in anticipation of a strike by Hurricane Gustav. A membership meeting will be held Wednesday, Sept. 10, at noon. All are invited.


COAST GUARD CONDUCTING POST-HURRICANE GUSTAV STORM RESPONSE

USCG units throughout southeastern Louisiana have started post-hurricane response, including dealing with vessel incidents and pollution, and assessing the status of aids to navigation. The Coast Guard command post in Natchez, re-located from New Orleans, received a report of two ships and a barge adrift in the New Orleans Industrial Canal. Sources confirmed that two decommissioned supply vessels had broken their moorings and were being pushed against the west side of the canal north of the Florida Ave. Bridge, and that the barge had sunk in the area. In a separate incident, another vessel and two barges broke their moorings and were adrift at the L&N railroad bridge. The Coast Guard was working to other reports of barges and vessels adrift. The Coast Guard said southeastern Louisiana waterways will remain closed until after assessments for pollution, aids to navigation and any hazards to navigation are complete and it is safe for traffic to resume.


JOE BIDEN, OBAMA’S PICK FOR VICE PRESIDENT, HAS PERFECT VOTING RECORD IN SENATE ON MARITIME ISSUES

During his years in the Senate, Democratic Vice Presidential pick Joe Biden has consistently voted in favor of the programs essential to the wellbeing of the U.S.-flag maritime industry, congressional records show. Between 1989 and 1996, there were 13 roll-call votes in the Senate directly affecting the programs and policies important to MM&P and the maritime industry. Biden has a perfect 100 percent “right” record, which means he voted in support of the U.S.-flag merchant marine all 13 times. These votes include nine relating to cargo preference and the vote on final passage of the original Maritime Security Program.

 In contrast, Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain voted against the U.S.-flag maritime industry seven out of 13 times.

Labor unions have hailed the selection of Biden, who is known as a strong supporter of America’s working families. “In asking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama has affirmed the judgment it takes to be President of the United States and an understanding of the team it will take to turn around America,” commented AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. “Biden is not only one of the most experienced foreign affairs experts in our country, he’s an eloquent and unwavering defender of working families and opponent of the Bush Administration’s war on workers. He’s a man of great faith and modest means who has lived his life in direct contrast to those who support Bush and his would-be successor, John McCain. He’s honest and outspoken and he’s never forgotten his working-class roots.”

Other currently serving senators who voted in support of the U.S.-flag maritime industry all 13 times include Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.).


IN THE PAST EIGHT YEARS, UNDER BUSH ADMINISTRATION, ALMOST ALL AMERICANS HAVE LOST GROUND FINANCIALLY

The vast majority of Americans experienced falling incomes and eroding living standards between 2001 and 2007 under the Bush Administration, according to a wide-ranging study published in September by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington think tank. According to the EPI, the drop in living standards was accompanied by a surge in productivity that was generated by American workers but bore them no fruit.

“As business cycles go, the one that started in 2001 is a study in sharp contrasts,” according to the economists at EPI. “The men and women of the American workforce were incredibly productive, but more than in any previous cycle, the economic fruits of this growth eluded them. Unless current trends take an unexpected new direction, this will be the first business cycle ever recorded in which America’s middle-class families will end the cycle with less real (that is, inflation-adjusted) income than they had at the beginning.”

The report noted that during the most recently concluded business cycle, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose at a healthy rate of 2.5 percent each month. But the promise implied by that growth—nearly 20 percent across the full business cycle—never materialized for the vast majority of Americans. Instead, the lion’s share of the benefits reached those in the top 1 percent of the income scale: people earning an average of $1.3 million a year.

Between 2000 and 2006, middle income earners actually saw their earnings fall by 1.3 percent. Add to this the sharp spike in energy costs—up 25 percent since the middle of 2007—plus falling housing prices, and the result has been an unprecedented contraction in the wealth of the average American family.

EPI’s “The State of Working America 2008/2009” provides a detailed picture of how the country’s economy is evolving. Among the findings:

– among the unemployed, the percentage of people who could not find work for six months or more rose from 12.1 percent during the 1990s to 19.4 percent in the 2000s;

– when unemployed workers are eventually able to find new jobs in today’s economy, the majority have to accept a 20–25 percent reduction in income and the loss of all health insurance and other benefits;

– the share of “involuntary part-timers” (people who want a full-time job but can’t find one) has continued to rise—as of June 2008, the number of Americans involuntarily working part-time had risen to about 5 million.

The economists who compiled the report trace the worsening financial situation of middle income families in part to the fact that fewer and fewer Americans are represented by labor unions. “The State of Working America” can be accessed online at http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/newsroom_index.

As this issue of the Wheelhouse Weekly was being distributed, the Department of Labor (DOL) released data showing that the nation’s unemployment rate shot up to a five-year high of 6.1 percent in August as employers cut 84,000 jobs, dramatic proof of the mounting damage a deeply troubled economy is inflicting on workers and businesses alike. DOL’s report, released Friday, showed the increasing toll the housing, credit and financial crises are taking on the economy.


MM&P’S TRAINING INSTITUTES, MITAGS AND PMI, AGAIN IN THE NEWS!

MM&P’s state-of-the-art training facility MITAGS has been the focus of articles in recent editions of three leading maritime industry publications. In “MITAGS Delivers Value on a Key Requirement,” Maritime Executive Managing Editor Joe Keefe tells how he turned to MITAGS in his quest to bring his “continuity” license into compliance with the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) protocol.

The 49-year-old Keefe writes that he decided to re-qualify his credentials because “my marine license had always been a source of pride… as well as a big part of my credibility as an editor in the commercial maritime world.” MITAGS agreed to be primary facilitator of his training and to accommodate him on a “space available” basis which would allow him to meet his editorial deadlines at the Maritime Executive magazine and the weekly MarEx Newsletter.

“The Basic Safety Training (BST) course at MITAGS is a well-oiled machine,” Keefe writes, explaining that he chose BST as the starting point because “if an aging mariner couldn’t hack the physical aspects of the BST portion of STCW training, there is little point in going through the balance of the requirements.” We will keep you posted on Keefe’s progress as he works to bring his continuity license into STCW compliance.

The autumn issue of Coast Guard Proceedings features an article on the crucial role played by the beneficiary training trust funds in the education of professional mariners. The article, “National Maritime Assets—The Beneficiary Training Trust Funds,” describes how the companies that contribute to the training trusts benefit by receiving a fixed training cost each year, and how mariners profit from having a formal structure to help them achieve their career goals. “The value of trust schools to our nation has been highlighted by their major role in training civilian mariners for the operation of government vessels,” writes MITAGS Executive Director Glen Paine. “The investments [in simulation facilities and other sophisticated training infrastructure] have provided the U.S. government with enormous savings,” he writes. “They have also provided a pool of qualified mariners who are capable of operating the reserve vessels.”

The autumn issue of The Beacon, the publication of the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay, reports on MITAGS and its sister school in Seattle, the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI). The article describes the substantial investments made by MITAGS and PMI in course development and simulation technologies to meet the new demands of the STCW code associated with the upgrade to chief mate/master. It also reports on how MITAGS and PMI offer state-of-the art, full mission ship simulation facilities that allows senior pilots, masters and engineers to work together in the simulated environment. “For this reason,” Paine writes, “MITAGS and PMI continually invest an average of $1 million annually to provide the very latest in simulation technology and hydrodynamic modeling.”


MSC CIVMARS HAVE EXTENSION ON TWIC DEADLINE

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has granted civilian mariners an extension of the April 15, 2009 deadline to obtain the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). Under the terms of the extension, CIVMARS can obtain their TWIC card after the April 15 deadline but no later than their next USCG credentialing action. MM&P has been requesting similar treatment for all mariners since TWIC was first announced.
In extending the deadline beyond April 15 for the CIVMARS, the Coast Guard said it wanted to provide necessary relief for CIVMARs embarked on an overseas tour. MM&P and representatives of other maritime labor unions, along with representatives of Military Sealift Command (MSC), had met with USCG Commandant Thad Allen to request the accommodation. It is expected that all CIVMARs will have a TWIC no later than five years from the TWIC national compliance date, since each CIVMAR should have renewed his or her license by then.


TSA MAKING SLOW BUT STEADY PROGRESS ON TWIC ISSUANCE

 The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last week reported that as of Aug. 28, 469,877 maritime workers had enrolled in the TWIC program and 292,812 cards had been activated. In reporting the news, Dennis L. Bryant of the law firm Holland & Knight LLP observed that progress continues to be steady, but slow. He said meeting the final deadline of April 15, 2009 will be difficult, and that meeting the earlier enforcement dates in some Captain of the Port (COTP) zones is highly problematical unless the pace of enrollment improves dramatically.


MM&P GOVERNMENT GROUP MEMBERS WIN SAFETY AWARD, GET INTERVIEWED

Military Sealift Command (MSC) has announced that USNS LEWIS AND CLARK, crewed by MM&P licensed deck officers, has been awarded the 2008 Navy Department’s safety excellence award in the MSC category. The 689-foot dry cargo/ammunition vessel is now operating out of Norfolk. MSC said the crew was recognized for developing new operating procedures that set the standard for the whole class of T-AKE ships. “This award reflects a collaborative effort from the crew, who made sure to implement realistic safety standards as a social norm,” commented Randall H. Rockwood, LEWIS AND CLARK’s civil service master from October 2007 to August 2008. “My goal was to set up a positive environment for my crew to develop safe operational procedures and in it, we made sure that each crew member understood the inherent dangers onboard the ship.”

In other news, John Larson, civilian master of the Ready Reserve Force (RRF) ship CAPE GIBSON, was interviewed in the August issue of “Sealift,” MSC’s monthly newspaper, on the vessel’s participation in the world’s largest multinational military exercise, RIMPAC, in which nine nations’ armed forces joined with those of the United States in a test of military readiness in the Pacific Rim. CAPE GIBSON is a T-AK 5051 modular cargo vessel operated by MM&P-contracted Patriot Contract Services LLC. “Normally, [GIBSON] could be activated in a time of war or crisis to bring materials to the war fighters,” Larson said. “In RIMPAC, we were able to bring Navy ships alongside for underway replenishments or vertical replenishments in a more controlled scenario, which allowed us all to learn from each other. That’s really what these exercises are about.”

Other MM&P-crewed vessels mentioned in “Sealift” as participating in RIMPAC were fleet replenishment oilers USNS GUADALUPE and USNS YUKON, fleet ocean tugs USNS NAVAJO and USNS SIOUX, rescue and salvage ship USNS SALVOR and oceanographic survey ship USNS SUMNER, a T-AGS vessel operated by MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines.


PERSONAL DATA OF SOME CIVMARS ACCIDENTLY DISCLOSED IN MSC MAIL MERGE

The Social Security numbers of some civilian mariners working on MilitarySealift Command (MSC) vessels have been inadvertently disclosed to other MSCemployees in violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, according to MilitarySealift Command Fleet Support Command.

MM&P and the other labor unions that represent the mariners in question were informed of the personnel security breach during the last week in August.
MSC told the unions that the accidental data disclosure had involved the records of about 100 MM&P and Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) members, and about 1,300 other civilian mariners. Besides Social Security numbers, the information released included date of birth, home address, salary, and other information of a personal and private nature.

MM&P Government Group representative Randi Ciszewski immediately responded to MM&P members who contacted her about the information breach. The union has requested that MSC reimburse affected members forced to enroll in identify theft protection services. MSC has apologized to the mariners in question. MM&P is working on the issue and will keep members informed as it gathers information.


DOT POSTPONES NEW GUIDELINES FOR OBSERVED COLLECTION DRUG TESTS

In response to comments from a number of transportation industry players, the Department of Transportation (DOT) says it is postponing implementation of new guidelines that will require that, in “observed collection” drug tests, the individual undergoing the test must demonstrate to the observer that he or she is not wearing a “specimen alteration” or “specimen substitution” device. For the most part, the new procedures are only for employees and situations for which “observed collections” were already required. The only exception is for “employees with prior positives and refusals,” in which case return-to-duty and follow-up drug testing under direct observation is now required, rather than being an employer option. For more details on the guidelines, go to www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/udsc.html.  The new effective date for the guidelines is Nov. 1, 2008. In the meantime, DOT said it will evaluate industry comments.    


NATIONAL MARINE TRANSPORT SYSTEM STRATEGY ON INTERNET

The U.S. Committee on the Maritime Transportation System (CMTS), a cabinet-level, interagency committee, has released its strategic policy framework, the National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System: A Framework for Action. The plan is intended to address the most pressing needs of America’s maritime transportation system. The framework includes more than 30 actions in five priority areas including capacity, safety and security, environmental stewardship, resilience and reliability and finance and economics. The CMTS is a federal interagency partnership that was created by the President to improve federal MTS coordination and policies and to recommend strategies and implement plans to maintain and improve the marine transportation system. The National Strategy for the MTS and information about other activities of the CMTS can be viewed at www.cmts.gov.


MARITIME SECURITY PATROL AREA TO BE ESTABLISHED IN GULF OF ADEN

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command has directed the establishment of a maritime security patrol area in the Gulf of Aden. A force of coalition warships will patrol the area and aircraft will fly in the airspace above. The patrol area is being established in support of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) efforts to stop piracy. The International Maritime Bureau has issued a piracy warning to all ships in the Gulf of Aden.


USTRANSCOM DEPLOYS CONTAINER SECURITY SYSTEM

United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) has deployed a new “container security system” in an attempt to help protect from tampering military shipments moving from Afghanistan to Pakistan. The system, which is called “CommerceGuard,” is provided by a government contractor, GE Security Inc.
USTRANSCOM directs and supervises execution of the military supply chain for the Department of Defense. Contractors use CommerceGuard handheld readers at specific checkpoints in the supply chain to read container security devices on the command’s containers.  The devices report the security status of each container, alerting USTRANSCOM if doors have been opened without authorization. Logistics managers can use the data to determine when and where containers were opened. U.S. military personnel mount the container security devices inside the container doors when the containers are filled with supplies, then use the handheld reader to arm the devices for shipment. “In addition to heightening our security measures with intrusion alerts, the data made available through the CommerceGuard global information network adds efficiency to our processes by confirming that our containers are secure throughout this vital supply chain,” said USTRANSCOM Acting Commander Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau. “This allows our supported commanders to focus their attention on operations.”


COAST GUARD REGIONAL EXAM CENTERS IN BALTIMORE AND BOSTON BECOME STOREFRONT OPERATIONS

The Coast Guard’s Regional Exam Centers (RECs) in Baltimore and Boston are becoming field units of the National Maritime Center (NMC), in Martinsburg, W.Va. The Baltimore and Boston RECs have now become “storefront” operations, where staff is supposed to concentrate on helping mariners get their applications ready for submission to Martinsburg. Mariners will still verify their identity, get fingerprinted and take their tests at the RECs. Completed application packages will be sent to the NMC for evaluation. The NMC will conduct security, professional qualification, medical evaluations and will print and issue credentials. The Coast Guard said that by the end of 2008, all 17 RECs nationwide will have completed the transition.


MARITIME ADMINISTRATION SAYS IT’S GOING GREEN

MARAD says it has launched several new initiatives that place it “in the vanguard of federal organizations implementing policies stressing responsible environmental stewardship.” MARAD’S green programs include establishment of an environmental management system at its National Defense Reserve Fleet sites and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The program involves evaluating MARAD’S use of energy and an overhaul of its conservation practices. Included is a new green travel policy, which outlines travel practices that lead to carbon reductions for employees on official travel, and a green procurement program. Another element is an awards program which will recognize exceptional environmental stewardship by maritime industry players. Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton said in an official statement that the agency is overhauling all its energy applications and introducing solar panels, fuel cells, and geothermal power at all its locations nationwide.


CLIPPER PACIFIC DETAINED BY COAST GUARD AFTER PORT STATE CONTROL EXAM

USCG inspectors at Sector Anchorage who conducted a port state control exam on the CLIPPER PACIFIC, a Bahamian-flagged cruise ship, issued a 32-item deficiency list and detained the vessel temporarily for violations of the International Ship Management code with respect to oil record books, engineering logs and engineering rough logs. The vessel’s customs clearance for departure was withheld under requirement that a surety bond of $1.1 million be posted, but the vessel was ultimately cleared when the owner presented a letter of understanding. The investigators found evidence that the crew operated the oily water separator and an inaccurate oil content meter in the U.S. exclusive economic zone in potential violation of the Clean Water Act. They are also accused of discharging oil into a navigable U.S. waterway while draining the bilges of their lifeboats.


MM&P APPLICANTS’ COURSE FOR D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP IN SEATTLE SEPT. 10-11 AND IN SAN FRANCISCO SEPT. 17-18; COURSE SCHEDULE FOR OTHER HALLS TO BE ANNOUNCED

The course for MM&P applicants seeking to qualify for D-Book Membership will be held in Seattle, on Sept. 10 and 11, and in San Francisco, Sept. 17 and 18, from 0900 to 1600. If you are interested in participating in these classes, please call the Seattle Hall (206-441-8700) or the San Francisco Hall (415-777-5074) to reserve your seat. Class size is limited so sign up early. Courses in other MM&P halls will be announced in The Wheelhouse Weekly as soon as they are scheduled.

If you wish to be considered for D-Book status next year, you need to have completed this class, have four favorable recommendations, have paid the initiation fee and have at least 360 days sea time under MM&P contract. A packet detailing the requirements for D-Book Membership was recently mailed to all MM&P applicants. The packet includes four copies of an applicant evaluation form that can be given to the masters or chief mates who will write the letters of recommendation. If you have questions about D-Book Membership, please contact your Area Vice President, the MM&P Agent-Pacific Ports or MM&P Gulf Port Representative.


IMMEDIATE OPENING FOR SIMULATION DEPARTMENT MANAGER AT PMI

The Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) in Seattle is seeking a Simulation Department Manager to maintain and operate its two full-mission simulators. A degree in computer science or equivalent experience is required; a Mate’s license is a plus, as are two or more years in network support systems, integration and simulation; a proven track record in programming, design or simulation desired. Please e-mail your resume to hr@mitags.org or send a fax to (443) 989-3341.


JOB OPENINGS FOR MM&P MEMBERS ON THE GREAT LAKES

There are job openings on the Great Lakes for MM&P members. Our contracted employers are seeking engineers and licensed mates with pilotage. Retirees are also encouraged to apply. The rules of the MM&P Pension Plan allow pensioners to accept without penalty employment–other than Covered Employment–aboard vessels covered by collective bargaining agreements with MM&P membership groups, on condition that the employment is first approved by MM&P. Interested parties should call 216-776-1667 or e-mail cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


PACIFIC MARITIME INSTITUTE SEEKS TPIC AND CARGO HANDLING INSTRUCTORS

MITAGS/PMI is accepting applications for TPIC and Cargo Handling contract instructors for employment at the Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle. The jobs, which are non-benefit positions, are an ideal opportunity for active or retired members to pass on their knowledge and experience. Applicants must meet Coast Guard approval requirements and have more than two years of experience in cargo handling or TPIC as senior mate/chief mate/master. Residence in Washington State or near PMI is a plus but not required. For more information, go to www.mates.org. Send resumes/ applications to hr@mitags.org or by fax to HR at (443) 989-3341.    


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 10/6

BST – Basic Safety Training:  10/6
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/6

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 9/15
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 9/22
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/29
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/6
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 10/6
CMM-SHMGT-II � Ship Management (week 2): 10/13
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/20

COMP-OPSYS � Basic Computer Operating Systems: 10/6
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 9/26
CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 9/25

FF-BADV – Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/6

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 10/20
HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day) course: 10/27

LAP � License Advancement Program: 9/15
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/29, 10/7

MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 10/13
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/13
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/13, 10/18
MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 9/25

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 10/6

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 9/22
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 9/22, 10/13
SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 10/20

TPIC-DL � Tankship Dangerous Liquids (PIC): 9/22

…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)

September 2008
9-12SHS EMR-5
15-19WX BAS
15-19TPIC
15-26GMDSS
22-26MED PRO

October 2008
29-3 ROP
29-3 SHS BAS
6 ROR
6-10WKP BAS
7-10ARPA
13-17ECDIS
13-17TPIC
20-31GMDSS
20-24MED PRO
20-31MED PIC
22-26MED PRO
20FL

November 2008
3ROR
4-7ARPA
10-14MED PRO
10-21MED PIC
17-19SEC VCF

December 2008
1-5MED PRO
1-12GMDSS
1-12MED PIC
8-19GMDSS
15-19ECDIS
15-19TPIC

January 2009
7-11ENAV
7-11STB BAS
8-11ARPA
14-18WX BAS
14-25GMDSS
14-18ROP
14-2/1TC NAV
21-2/1WKP
21ROR
22-25ARPA
28-2/8GMDSS
28-2/1MED PRO

February 2009
4-8ROP
12ROR
11-12SAR
12-15ARPA
13-15EP
16FL
18-22ENAV
18-22MED PRO
18-22SHS BAS
18-29MED PIC
25-3/7 CNAV
25ROR

March 2009
3-14GMDSS
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
12-14EP
17-28GMDSS
24-4/4 GMDSS
24ROR
25-28ARPA

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 9-05-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,221 2,256 1,242.31
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
57.10
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
114.86
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
36.19
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
19.11
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
16.49
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
26.11
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.34
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
28.86
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.45
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.77
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.47
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.59
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.85
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.43
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.89
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.14
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.64
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.06
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.08
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
30.46
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.21
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.85
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
21.51
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.88
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
72.05
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
17.08
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
65.72
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.82
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
38.01
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
30.89
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
25.47
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.83
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.70
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.17
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.50
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.61
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.94
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.30
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.11
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
34.06
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
44.07
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
27.67





~ 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.

© 2008, 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.




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