Tanker Captains should be making 471,000?

I’ve taken courses at most of the academies and just about everywhere else, except the union schools.

I’ve tried to take courses at MITAGS, PMI (MITAGS West) Calhoun and Paul Hall, but have never been able to make the schedule work, or the class was only for union members, or the class was canceled due to low enrollment, or whatever. Last I knew, Paul Hall was only accepting SIU members. (this has changed from time to time).

Personally, I think it would a shame to see any of the union schools close. Nor is it necessary.

If ECO can get federal training money to run its in-house, employees only school, then surely the unions can get federal training money too.

The academies and the private maritime training schools are recruiting disabled veterans (these days that’s virtually every veteran) because they come with full ride VA training money. The union schools could jump on this gravy train too.

The Union schools could fill their classes and be profitable simply by competing with MPT, Training Resources, San Jac, etc.

Whatever MITAGS problems might be, if any, they can be fixed. Or, the MITAGS school could be sold to someone that knows how to run a school, or as a corporate training and convention center.

MITAGS is not a legitimate obstacle to merging the officers unions into one. It’s just a spurious excuse being floated by nitpicker and naysayers.

You’re right. It should not be an obstacle. But it is an example of how MMP perceives things and why they refuse to change. It is the old guard hanging on to the way things have always been, and refusing to accept that we are never going back to the merchant marine of years past. MMP should not continue to try to ignore reality and must eventually accept that real and dramatic change is required.

I don’t know how easy it would be to fix the unions. But MITAGS could be an easy fix if they made some drastic changes to their model to grow enrollment outside of the union.

Drastic changes are needed but I don’t think the growth outside of MMP will fix the problems. You can only offer so much at an industrial park in Baltimore. I mean MITAGs already has an AB to Mate program, the conferences, overpriced courses, an expensive bar, cutting down on the food, etc etc
MMP inland companies, most I believe, do not pay into training fund for MITAGS. Yeah I get it it was a way to undercut the other unions but it’s actually hurting MMP and it’s members especially those who pay out of pocket despite being MMP members. MMP needs to wake up and vote in a true leader to fix this mess.

Don’t by naive this was done to squeeze more money out of / overcharge the contracted companies that already fund the school. Ask yourself what other Deepsea Union requires their applicants to waste time and take a course like this for membership? It’s all about the MONEY. It’s the same way why MMP forces its members for companies like Maersk take a “company” specific class to hold permanent chief mate / Captain jobs. AMO and MEBA Maersk permanents aren’t required to take this classes. It’s only about time until companies start looking at what MITAGS is charging. Courses that offer no true qualifications are concerning not to mention the chief mate upgrade courses that actually add up to more courses than the same at the Star Center but for less sign offs.

Giving deals to certain companies hurts everyone, no more deals, no more undercutting, every company pays in. Set it up, get it done, and save the school.

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I have seen that terrible Inland contract situation where Inland members at some companies are treated like members, but at other companies, in addition to lower wages, they are not treated like MMP members and cannot attend MITAGS unless they pay the grossly inflated non- union prices.

In addition to one union, there needs to be one national MINIMUM contract with good wages and benefits that support full union membership and provide a level playing field for all members and vessel owners.

If some employers want to offer extra to attract the best talent that’s fine too.

In my opinion, based upon my experience many years ago, MMP Inland was just a pseudo-union and a scam being perpetrated by thugs who were just using MMPs name.

I think it vitally important for a good union to treat all members the same in only one division with no preferences, except seniority.

Of course everyone is advantaged or disadvantaged according to whatever license and endorsements that they have, or don’t have.

That surprises me. I was also surprised when, during the El Faro hearings a Tote captain testified that he had taken no classes in his career not required by the Coast Guard.

My understanding is the courses were company requirements, which courses are required varies by company but AFAIK all the companies I worked for required the Heavy Weather Avoidance course which includes avoidance of tropical cyclones.

I’ve posted about the topic of heavy weather avoidance many times here. I found that course to be very valuable.

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That course is approved for the required “Advanced Meteorology” course required for STCW endorsements as Chief Mate and Master. It predates the STCW requirement, but currently you could say it’s required by the Coast Guard.


Maybe I misunderstood, IIRC the NTSB recommended additional weather avoidance classes for mariners. Maybe it was something else.

NTSB recommened that Advanced Meteorology be a recurring requirement, that it be required for every renewal. They also recommended that mariners grandfathered to STCW endorsements as Chief Mate and Master be required to take the course. The NTSB is not obligated to consider the costs of complying with its recommendations, unlike the Coast Guard and other regulatory agencies.


Some MMP members have told me that the NSAP required class for membership is a waste of time/ a joke.
Also the MITAGS bridge simulator is nice but the only real difference compared to others is the fact you can walk on the bridge wing. I’ve heard their advanced shiphandling class is horrible because they enroll to many students and operate only one simulator at a time.
There’s other full mission bridges at other schools where you can get many, many more reps in the sim. I’d rather take a class at a school with multiple simulators 2 or more running at the same time and fewer students.

Intellectually I agree with that. There are a number of classes that I think should be required every renewal. But I also know that I would absolutely hate having to do that since I’m already gone so much as it is so if the USCG proposed that rule they would get lambasted in the comments.

The wages in the US tanker fleet are horrible. Captains do not make $471k (even with benefits and all costs accounted for), but they should.
In my opinion, the problem is nobody has the balls (or savings) to go on strike. It’s the only way wages will increase…the companies aren’t going to do it unless forced. Just like the Airline pilots and truckers. Until they went on strike, nothing significant happened.

I took the required shiphandling classes years ago at Mitags and the experience was fantastic. They limited the student’s in each class and the instructor was a real pro. Now the main instructor is dr evil himself and as good as you will find anywhere. He is retired MEBA too🤙.

My biggest issues with mitags are the high price for room and board and the ridiculous prices they charge for drinks at the bar. Total BS they hit membership for these prices. I get the affiliate pricing on rooms but its still sucks.

Another factor likely to suppress tanker wages soon is consolidation… now that the JA tanker market is effectively a duopoly - Crowley/Seabulk & OSG.

As an example of what happens to seafarers, from an article today:

Obviously, Tidewater doesn’t see any shortage of seafarers. Apparently, they have a good surplus.

The US doesn’t have a shortage or a surplus of officers. The supply is in balance with demand, there just isn’t much slack capacity.

With competing officer’s unions in a race to the bottom, perhaps Crowley and OSG wages can go lower, but I doubt it.