SIU, MSFSC Complete Negotiations on CMPI 750

November 2010

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Editor’s note: This article is an update for unlicensed CIVMARS regarding Civilian Marine Personnel Instruction (CMPI) 750, the guidance that covers disciplinary procedures.


In August 2009, the SIU and the Military Sealift Fleet Support Command (MSFSC) were engaged in negotiations concerning disciplinary actions under CMPI 750. The parties were unable to reach an agreement and the MSFSC implemented a new version of CMPI 750 prior to the completion of negotiations. The union then filed an unfair labor practice with the Federal Labor Relations Authority.


In the spirit of partnership, both parties agreed to resume negotiations for CMPI 750. The union withdrew its unfair labor practice charge and the MSFSC agreed to return to negotiate CMPI 750. These negotiations were recently conducted in Suffolk, Va. During the same week, the MSC and the SIU also negotiated a new MOU covering subsistence and quarters pay for CIVMARS pending discipline.


Discipline is an extremely important matter for all CIVMARS. The current Instruction notes that: 1) discipline is used to correct problems in employee conduct/behavior and performance; 2) discipline should not be punitive in nature, but should serve as a deterrent.


CIVMARS should take disciplinary procedures very seriously, as this action may impact their career with MSC or any other federal agency, should they seek employment with another federal entity.


The CMPI 750 MOU clarifies and supplements various sections in the current CMPI 750. Some of the sections clarified include:


  • Section 3-1b. – Letters of caution are not counted as a prior offense, but can be used to determine an appropriate penalty if subsequent offenses occur.

  • Section 3-8a. – When rendering a decision, the timeframe of any prior discipline will be considered. Generally where there is no specific reckoning period for an offense, a five-year timeframe will be used to evaluate relevance.

  • Section 3-8f. – CIVMARS experiencing behavior or performance problems that the he or she may attribute to a disability may be entitled to certain protections by seeking guidance from MSC’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office or the Civilian Employee Assistance Program (CEAP).

  • Reckoning periods – The reckoning periods agreed to by the parties are as follows: Oral Admonishment, up to 1 year; Letters of Reprimand, up to 2 years; Conditional Suspension, up to 3 years; Loggings, up to 3 years; All other actions, no reckoning period.

  • Another product of the negotiations is the definitions section of CMPI 750 which can be found in the body of the MOU. These definitions were drafted to more closely reflect current practices within the MSC. These definitions can be used to educate CIVMARS about the types of things for which CIVMARS may be disciplined, disciplinary procedures, grievances and ways to seek accommodations, if necessary and available.


    Leading the SIU negotiating team was Assistant Vice President Chet Wheeler, assisted by Counsel Deborah Kleinberg and Associate Counsel Jonathan Madden. The MSFSC negotiating team was led by Kathleen Giacalone. She was assisted by Constance Halleen, Patricia MacDonald, Purser Susan Myron and Counsel Alana Mayer. Andrew Lefebvre represented MSC Headquarters. Assisting the parties was Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Mediator Karen Kline.


    The signed MOU completed a very productive week of face-to-face negotiations between the parties using interest-based bargaining negotiations. The CMPI 750 MOU will go a long way to providing clarity and consistency for both CIVMARS and the MSC.


    The CMPI 750 MOU will supplement the provisions found in the current CMPI 750. CMPI 750 can be reviewed aboard all MSC vessels and also is available at the customer service units (CSUs). The 2010 MOU will be widely distributed to the vessels and the CSUs. The MOU also is available elsewhere on the SIU web site.


    CIVMARS who may be subject to disciplinary actions are strongly encouraged to seek assistance from their SIU Government Services Division representatives.

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