Notice to CIVMARS

CMPI 610 Negotiations and Wage Parity Discussions

January 2010

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The SIU/NMU, MEBA, MM&P and MSC have agreed to resume negotiations for Civil Marine Personnel Instruction (CMPI) 610 – Hours of Work and Premium Pay.

As many CIVMARS may know from previous union communications, over the past years the parties have attempted to negotiate this Instruction using traditional negotiation techniques. In traditional negotiations each party negotiates only from its own interests. During the last round of negotiations in 2007, the discussions resulted in impasse.

This time the parties have agreed to use an interest-based bargaining process to negotiate CMPI 610. This is a different type of negotiation process than the parties have used before. It is a partnership-based negotiation process where the parties develop a set of joint interests. Once the interests are identified, the parties craft proposals together to meet these interests.

There are many advantages to this type of negotiation process including a more productive, fair and transparent negotiation process. Depending on the issues, the negotiations may be completed more quickly and without the need for third-party intervention which might take several years to complete.

Prior to beginning negotiations MSC, MSFSC and union representatives received two full days of training from mediators at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington, D.C. The training took place December 8 and 9. A majority of the SIU/NMU Government Services Division representatives received the training along with a majority of the labor relations representatives from MSFSC and MSC HQ.

MSC and the unions have agreed that all previous proposals and counter-proposals pertaining to CMPI 610 will be discarded. Negotiations will begin with a new set of ground rules. Unlicensed CIVMARS will be asked to participate in the negotiations in a number of ways, including in-person participation at the negotiating sessions. More information regarding CIVMAR participation will be provided to CIVMARS via email, ship postings, CSU meetings and in the LOG.

While CMPI 610 is being negotiated the union will also be discussing wage parity with MSC HQ representatives. As CIVMARS are aware, the union has been seeking wage parity between the CIVMAR East and West coast bargaining units for many years. The union has sought parity through requests to MSC HQ representatives.

The development of CIVMAR wages involves a yearly submission to MSC HQ. Each year the union submits information which is legally required to establish wages for MSC CIVMARS. The information submitted is based upon private-sector maritime contracts. This requirement is established by federal law.

MSC HQ N13 representatives review this information and process the union’s submission and additional information based upon other requirements. A package of information is then submitted to the Department of Defense Wage Fixing Authority (DODWFA). Although MSC has made requests to DODWFA to implement wage parity between the East and West coast units, DODWFA has denied these requests.

MSC and union representatives have now agreed to pursue the wage parity review process together. CIVMAR wage structures are extremely complex and varied. Generally, West Coast CIVMARS earn a larger base pay wage than East Coast CIVMARS. However, East Coast CIVMARS earn premium and overtime pay at a much higher rate.

The union’s goal is to ensure that the DODWFA review process does not have an adverse impact on CIVMAR wages or premium pay in any review process conducted by DODWFA. The union is concerned about unintended consequences that may result because of significant DOD budget deficits or other factors beyond the control of MSC and the union. The union intends to proceed cautiously and carefully on this initiative.

The union will be sending out CIVMAR “EGrams,” shipboard notices and LOG articles on a regular basis as the CMPI 610 negotiations and wage parity discussions move forward. Notices will also be posted on the SIU web site. There will also be shipboard and CSU meetings to ensure we reach as many CIVMARS as possible with updates.

Please contact your union representative with any questions you may have. You may also send your thoughts, comments and questions to civmarsupport@seafarers.org


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