Civilian Marine Personnel Instruction 610 Negotiations Update

November 2010

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Editor’s note: The following article is an update for Military Sealift Command (MSC) CIVMARS on the Civilian Marine Personnel Instruction (CMPI) 610 negotiations. CMPI 610 covers the Hours of Work and Premium Pay work rules applicable to all CIVMARS.


Union, MSC and Military Sealift Fleet Support Command (MSFSC) negotiators continue to meet. Negotiators have been working on the General Provision sections at each meeting. The negotiations began in January 2010 and the parties have met for six sessions. The parties usually meet the first week of the month. SIU, MSC and MSFSC negotiators are assisted at each negotiation session by a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Also in attendance are licensed and unlicensed SMEs (Subject Matter Experts).


Unlicensed SMEs attending negotiations have included Bosun Byron Costa, AB Marque Anthony and Bosun Robert Torres. Torres has sailed with MSC for 32 years. He has sailed on various vessels in the PAC fleet. Torres participated in the October 2010 negotiation session and will attend the November 2010 negotiations at SIU headquarters in Camp Springs, Md.


Asked about his impression of the negotiation process, Torres noted that he found the experience to be very enlightening. Torres said he was “very pleased to be part of the SIU team,” and until he attended negotiations, he was “unaware of how hard the SIU officials fought to protect the employment rights and compensation interests of all unlicensed CIVMARS.” Torres believes that interest-based bargaining negotiations “take a long time but are worth the effort.”


SIU Government Services Division Assistant Vice President Chet Wheeler described Torres’ contributions to the negotiations as extremely valuable. He noted that Bosun Torres’ significant seagoing experience with MSC helped the negotiators understand current shipboard practices and the SIU and unlicensed CIVMAR unit greatly benefited from his participation.


Serving on the union’s negotiating team are Wheeler, Government Services Representative Kate Hunt, Union Counsel Deborah Kleinberg and Union Associate Counsel Jonathan Madden. Serving on the MSC negotiating team in October 2010 were Renee Desrosiers, MSC lead negotiator, CMPI 610 at MSC headquarters; Andrew Lefebvre, labor relations specialist at MSC headquarters; David Townsend, MSC associate counsel; and Patricia MacDonald from MSFSC’s Labor and Employee Relations Department.


In addition to Torres, SMEs assisting the negotiators in October were MSC Purser Susan Myron, Chief Engineer Jaime Shine, Captain Randall Rockwood and Captain Robert Seabrook.


In November 2010, negotiators are scheduled to discuss the work rules pertaining to moving all types of cargo, stores, mail, trash, ammunition and explosives. In early 2011 as the parties begin to tackle the separate departmental work rules, unlicensed CIVMARS from the deck, engine and supply departments will be attending the negotiations to assist the parties.


Negotiators continue to use the interest-based bargaining negotiation process. This process allows the parties flexibility and transparency in their discussions. The LOG will publish another article in the near future about how the interest-based bargaining process works, and the advantages to the CIVMAR bargaining unit.


The union has received inquiries as to why the negotiations are taking so many months to complete. The CMPI 610 negotiations are time-consuming for a variety of reasons. First, negotiators are trying to revise an Instruction of approximately 100 pages that has not been completely renegotiated since the early 1980s. Second, negotiators and SMEs are taking all the time necessary to ensure that the information concerning current shipboard practices is as clear and comprehensive as possible. (See “Note to CIVARS” at the end of this article). If the negotiators need more information prior to re-writing a work rule, information requests are generated and the response is reviewed by all parties.


Third, each work rule is thoroughly reviewed by all negotiators and SMEs. Re-writing and editing work is not concluded until the wording is as clear as possible and all persons understand the intent of the language and reach a consensus on the new wording. With approximately 15 people participating in these discussions each month, this is a difficult and time-consuming process.


MSC, MSFSC and SIU CMPI 610 negotiators continue to keep a key goal in mind: that the new Instruction will be as clearly written as possible and, as a result, will be applied consistently on all vessels throughout the fleet. In addition to clarity and consistency in the revised CMPI 610, the union’s primary objective is to ensure that as work rules are revised, CIVMARS’ overtime and penalty wages are protected to the greatest extent possible.


A future LOG article will describe the safeguards built into the negotiation ground rules which protect CIVMARS from a significant reduction in overtime, premium time or penalty pay. The ground rules also ensure that the costs of any revised rules remain closely aligned with MSC’s 2009 overtime budget of $250 million.


Note to CIVMARS: A survey has been developed and will be distributed by the SIU/MSC CMPI 610 bargaining committee. The purpose of the survey is to allow negotiators to receive information directly from unlicensed CIVMARS as to how ammunition and explosives are loaded and transferred by the unlicensed crew aboard MSC vessels.


Your input is valuable. Please complete the survey carefully and return it as soon as possible. This information will be considered during the current CMPI 610 negotiations and during the post-implementation period when MSC and the SIU evaluate the impact of the new work rules.


The survey will be distributed at the customer service units (CSUs), will be sent to MSC vessels via e-mail and is available elsewhere on the SIU web site for those CIVMARS with access to the internet (see the CIVMAR News section in Member Benefits and Resources, or click HERE).

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