NOAA Blue and Gold schedule

So, NOAA is “considering” a 90 day on/90 day off schedule for its crews, called the blue and gold schedule.

What I’ve read is that a wage mariner has to work 10 hours a day 7 days a week for the whole 90 days at straight pay. Anything over that 10 hours in a day is Over Time.

I know the time off would be great for us, but some guys depend on that OT we make out here. As a lot of people know our base wage isn’t all that great to start with.

It’s still in the review process right now, but just wanted to see what others thought of this schedule.

What is the current schedule aboard NOAA ships? And is the schedule the same for everyone?

We really don’t have a set work schedule. We can work all year if we want to, but guys take vacation once or twice a year.

I think breaking up 2m on 2m off would even the sea days out more. Depending on what boat you’re on obviously. I wonder how many new crew they’d have to hire or if they’d draw from the aug pool. How much less someone would make? Would crew be off when they aren’t on the ship or would they be allowed to work on other ships? Equal time is better and would cut back on disgruntled employees, which NOAA has a lot of. Myself included. One of the reasons why I’m leaving NOAA and that many boats have high turn around.

I like 60/60 schedule better. Also, I think with NOAA tying up ships that they need to put those sailors somewhere and they believe blue & gold will be the answer. I do to think morale will improve on ships by this, but the damage has been done and I’ve been seeing guys leave NOAA a lot lately. Just the other day we had to delay sailing because a guy quit and they had to hire a new JUE to replace him.

I have a tentative offer of emloyment from NOAA as a fisherman and have very little information about the job, schedules, advancement, etc. the answers I get over the phone are at best vague, I can’t even figure out how much the pay is beyond the 39K in the job description, 39K isn’t much if I have to spend a lot of time away from home. Can anyone shed a little light here? Thanks

After working for 83 bucks a day for NOAA FY08, I loved the job and the people but never going home and not making any money didnt work for me. NOAA is a great place but you must not want to go home or make any money to survive there.

8ball, from what I remember hearing is that most fisherman work 12 hours a day, so take your base daily hourly rate and multiply it by 1.5 for 4 hours, add that back to your daily rate, and there yah go. You work 7 days a week unless you are in port, then you work 5 days but are paid for 7. This is all generalities of course but no one told me.

As far as going home is concerned, forget it. This is a quasi-military job so you accrue leave with every paycheck. IIRC it was 4 hours sick leave, 4 hours unpaid leave, and some sort of shoreside pay when your at sea. If you have previous government time this time forwards to NOAA. After 120 days at sea, I had to beg and threaten to quit to go home for less then a week.

If NOAA goes equal time, and makes their day rates semi-competitive, I would go back in a heartbeat. There are allot of really great people at NOAA and some great places to visit.

My biggest complaint with NOAA is not having enough time home. It’s tough on a sailor when he has a family at home and can’t see his little ones grow up.

My second biggest complaint with NOAA is HR/shore side employees handling pay. They will try and get out of paying you penalty pay or anything they don’t like, even though the union regs say we get it. The new contract is real murky in explaining definitions or anything for that matter.

The fishing boats have all the OT, which is where I’m at. I do like what I’m doing here and I hope NOAA just doesn’t give us lip service on this Blue & Gold schedule. You also get to see cool ports and explore, a big plus. But as soon as I upgrade I’m probably out the door.

Go the Aug pool route for a year and get a feel for boats. Go to the Gulf of Mexico, NE, NW, Hawaii and Alaska then decide on a boat.

So, there is a few pro’s and con’s. I wish you luck!

Forgot to add. You can use OT and turn it into comp time for more leave. Also, after 3years your leave goes to 6 hours a paycheck.

If I have a lot of OT I’ll turn 8-16 hour of it to Comp time and take more time off.

Training is another way to get time off and if you live by where you are training it’s a bonus, but NOAA is/has cut way back on it, unless it’s essential.

Thanks for all the good information, I did my math and if it’s correct it looks like the $109 for an eight hour day for a fisherman plus time and a half for 4 hrs more comes to $69715.00 per year if I work 365 days with overtime every day, I need a job but I’m afraid this isn’t going to be it. Obviously I can’t work the entire year, without needing psyciatric help anyway, and the divorce will take all the money anyway.