MSC proposed CIVMAR crewing model

The following is a draft proposal from MSC that’s started making the rounds.

Are they serious!? I know people there like to do longer hitches but that sounds like a good way to loose a lot of your workforce.

I don’t think they intend for the crew to be on for 2 years straight, since it says the four month hitch is “suspended.” Maybe they’re trying out what most shipping companies do…get a consistent tour length and send the same people back to the same ship for 2 years. If that’s what’s going on it sounds like a great idea. If they want people to sign on for 2 years straight…that’s just stupid.

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Sounds like a 2 year hitch, where you’re allowed to request sick and vacation time. Still sounds ridiculous. They need to move to even time. In this new plan, if you get a nice ship you’ll really luck out, but if you get a bad ship, you might as well quit.

I left MSC because of the long hitches. I don’t see merchant mariners rushing to sign up for a 2 year enlistment-like commitment. It’s wishful thinking in the MSC office trying to dump a heavier HR responsibility on the master.


How can a pilot program that only runs for 12 months evaluate a process that will take 2 years lol? Is this why it takes 4 times the crew for MSC to accomplish what contract crews do?

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What’s the OPTEMPO of an MSC CLF ship? I suppose this wouldn’t be so bad if you were on the USNS Neversail, but you also don’t get the same amount of “shore duty” that the active duty side gets. Then again I wish we could get to even 100% of our authorized manning.

Since ships funded leave is a max of 30 days, they can’t be trying for even time over a 2 year period. Are these 2 ships having a harder time keeping crewmembers than on other ships? I forsee a larger number of 107’s (medical discharges) than before. Maybe they’re putting the dead weight on them, so they’ll quit? I know a couple good candidates, if that’s the case.

The contract ship don’t do what the gray hulls do.

This may be a deal breaker for me. A large part of the appeal of MSC has been the change of scenery every 4-6 months.

I’m just trying to reconcile the expected schedule here, and the benefit for that matter. If travel authorization is only to be granted twice per year then either they’re looking at 5on/1off or maybe they’ll grant more than just 30days leave. I sure I’m not the only one who left MSC because of the schedule and would have stayed for even time.

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In this model they’d also have to send you off the ship to do some of your training as well.

Yes, part of your time off is to keep training and medical requirements up. Those are already excessive at MSC since they try to make the CIVMARs more like active duty.

  • The pilot is on two ships USNS Joshua Humphreys and USNS Pecos well known for long term crews (so MSC is front loading the pilot for “success”).
  • The pilot leaves your life up to the whims of MSC captains.
  • An active duty sailor does an at sea billet followed by a couple of years in an ashore billet - not CIVMARs.
  • I’ve been here 15 years, am a 2nd mate Nav/OpsO and see this pilot turning MSC into a federal sweat shop. They will go from overstaffing to chronic shortages, especially when oil surpasses $70 barrel. No life to be had at MSC.
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There is a Monthly stipend for those who volunteer for the CONUS crew. Keep in mind this is just a proposal. Chances are high it will go nowhere. This would also be a change in working conditions and can’t be permitted without consenting the Union first.

At least they are doing it on a volunteer basis.

Considering the navy has 10-20x the people for doing many of the same tasks CivMAR and merchants ships do, I think being a few bodies short shouldn’t hurt too much. And the navy still resorts to civilian contractors to do much of O&M work that its sailors should be doing.

Of course, recent events prove that 10x the people (on the bridge) still can’t do the tasks that 1-2 men do on most vessels sailing the seas.

I thought only a minority of MSC vessels were union employees and they aren’t actually MSC civmars.

Still unionized, in a different membership group though. Instead of the Offshore membership group it’s the government employee one.

MSC CIVMARs, paying members or not, are still represented by SIU.

Wasnt MSC cracking down on homesteading last year? Now they are promoting it? I honestly don’t see how 5 weeks a year of training and leave will work for anyone. BTW Mates are MMP Engineers are MEBA unlicensed are SIU.