New York Waterway and SIU Question, new Mariner

So I just had an interview and it looks like I am going to be a deckhand on one of the New York Waterway ferrys. The HR lady basically told me I was in, just waiting on drug test and background check.

My question is does anyone have any opinion, knowledge etc about this company? Good, bad, etc? My goal is to work on a tugboat in the NY harbor one day so I figured this was a good way to get a start.

Also in researching the company I foudn a lot of articles talking about SIU members working for them. How does that work, must you join the union, do you have the option, what is involved in that. Lastly, something I forgot to mention and they did not bring up in the interview was I do not have an MMC yet. Wouldn’t I need this or no. I have a TWIC card and brought that but we were in a rush and she just didn’t mention anything about it.

So any info, advice, tips anythign would be appreciated, this is a whole new game to me and I’m just starting out.

oh and we didn’t discuss pay yet, any idea what to expect as an entry level deckhand?

Use it as a means to realize your goals. Don’t worry about whether the job is that good or it sucks, just do it safely. Get some experience and some training then get your AB Special ticket. Once you’ve done that, then you will be more marketable to the companies that you have your eye on. Good luck!

They pay deckhands around $10 an hr. Its a fairly easy job and you will be getting sea time towards you’re AB for the move to tugs. And/or 100 ton if you decide to move up into the wheelhouse with them. Think their captains start $13-$14 an hr. As far as experience goes, you wont get much. Not even in terms of line handling because they bow up to ramps for loading/ off loading passengers. You’ll be checking tickets, off loading garbage, and cleaning the boats, maybe bartending depending what boat you’re on. You don’t need an mmc to work there, maybe a twic tho. The only credentialed people are the 100 ton captains. Its a foot in the door if you can afford the low pay and union dues. I thought they were local 333, i could be wrong though.

yikes, 10 dollars an hour, I make double that now and it’s hard to get by in this area. I was considering dropping to 15 an hour or so just so I could get sea time and I read a lot of articles that said they did STCW training for there staff, decent benifits etc. I can’t do 10 dollars an hour though thats for sure.

I hope something changes between what you know and now, although you seem to have described what I see on my commute pretty much perfectly so you obviously know something!!!

My info is only a couple years old if that. who knows though, they may have renegotiated their contract and got a few more dollars. I know guys that worked there for short times and then moved to other ferry companies in the area. I know statue cruises pays much better. I’d take whatever you can get to get your foot in the door though if this is really what you want to do.