Tugboat Wages 2022

Here’s some good info… It’s not Sauce. It’s Sause !!! Let’s start there.

Bunch of management POS creeps.

From the Wall Street Journal today:

Steep Nurse Pay Raises Irk Hospitals

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
U.S. NEWS
BY STEPHANIE ARMOUR AND ROBBIE WHELAN
Hospitals and lawmakers are pressing the Biden admin- istration to review federal pan- demic-relief programs that they say have distorted pay rates for travel nurses.
Many nurses are making twice what they did before the pandemic or more on assign- ments at hospitals paying top dollar to fill big holes in their workforces.
Some hospitals are using federal Covid-19 relief funds to cover part of the difference be- tween rates for travel nurses and staff salaries.
Health-industry trade groups and some members of Congress say staffing agencies matching workers with hospitals are capi- talizing on a tight labor market, as many nurses have left during the pandemic, often because of burnout and fatigue.
Staffing firms say the higher pay rates are simply a matter of supply and demand. “It’s kind of like saying real-es- tate agents set the price. The buyers and sellers participat- ing in the market do,” said Alan Braynin, president and chief executive at Aya Health- care, the largest healthcare staffing agency in the U.S.
Almost 200 House lawmak- ers led by Reps. Peter Welch (D., Vt.) and Morgan Griffith (R., Va.) on Jan. 25 asked the White House to investigate the run-up in wages that staffing agencies pay contract nurses. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living wrote recently to the White House that staffing firms are exploiting the pandemic by charging exorbitant prices.
The lawmakers and trade groups say Covid-19 relief funds from the Federal Emer- gency Management Agency are putting upward pressure on wages. FEMA in January said Hawaii would get $95 million for traveling healthcare work- ers, for instance, and Texas has used billions of dollars in fed- eral relief funds to help cover travel-nursing costs.
White House officials say they have taken steps to allevi- ate the nursing shortage and pressure on wages. The federal government is connecting healthcare providers to com- munities that need workers through grants and loan repay- ments and providing funds to hospitals to recruit staff, ac- cording to a White House spokesman.
The bidding war for tempo- rary nurses reflects a health- care system under strain but is a boon for some in the labor force.
Pay for travel nurses jumped to $3,290 a week in December 2021 from $1,706 in December 2019, according to Vivian Health, an online healthcare labor marketplace. The travel-nursing industry has doubled in size over the past year, said Parth Bhakta, Vivian Health’s chief executive.
One staffing firm, Snap- said it had a second-quarter
Hospital groups say virus-aid programs distort pay rates for traveling nurses. Above, a nurse in a California emergency room recently.
Nurse, advertised last year for nurses to travel to Alaska on 90-day assignments for up- ward of $5,000 a week. That is more than three times the me- dian pay for a registered nurse, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. The pay was backed by a FEMA award of two staffing contracts worth $107 million to SnapNurse and its partner DLH Holdings Corp.
SnapNurse allows nurses to register via a smartphone app for potential assignments. More than 250,000 nurses are registered on the platform, said founder Cherie Kloss, up from 10,000 before the pan- demic. Revenue grew from about $1 million in 2018 to more than $1 billion for 2021, Ms. Kloss said.
SnapNurse said it isn’t over- charging hospitals. Hospitals and state health departments set pay rates, the company said. “Supplying more nurses into the field is going to be the only so-
Peloton’s net profit/loss
Travel nursing jobs
175,000 150,000 125,000 100,000
75,000 50,000 25,000
0
Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Source: Vivian Health
lution to lowering the costs of nursing per hour,” Ms. Kloss said. DLH declined to comment.
Alaska worked with hospi- tals to set wages for the con-
Share price since first day close
Average weekly pay for travel nurses
nurses to come up to Alaska when it’s minus-20 degrees in the middle of winter,” she said.
In August, Mississippi ap- proved a federally backed con- tract to SnapNurse and three other staffing companies that cost about $12 million a week to hire over 1,000 nurses, re- spiratory therapists and para- medics to deal with pandemic- related shortages. The contract works out to roughly $11,470 a week per medical professional hired.
Stephen McCraney, execu- tive director of the state’s emergency management agency, said demand for essen- tial workers is unlike anything he has seen before.
“Usually a hurricane hits two or three states, so those states would get the resources at a low cost,” Mr. McCraney said. “But when we’re in com- petition with all 50 states for the same kind of assets, it’s a much different situation.”

As I sat next to a travel nurse on a flight home, she told me about her many opportunities to pick temp jobs anywhere she wants for 13 week hitches at $5,000 a week. A wage that has at least doubled, if not tripled during the past two years.

There is a shortage of licensed nurses just like there is a shortage of licensed mariners.

I was struck by the similarity of 13 weeks licensed nursing gigs far from home to the13 week (or more) tugboat hitches that some of us licensed mariners do. Of course the nurses live in nice, hospital provided apartments, and go do whatever they want when they are off shift. They are not imprisoned 24/7 on old tugboats.

But after a very long period of wage stagnation (and at times cuts), mariner wages have only increased about 20% in the last two years. Of course at the same time the cost of a new (or used) pickup, or building materials, or appliances, or food, has gone up a lot more than 20%.
We licensed mariners have not received any increase in buying power.

Hospitals are getting a lot of federal aid, but so are many maritime employers. Paycheck protection loans that don’t need to be paid back, and so on. Loans that have a real interest rate that is negative. Fat federal contracts. Yet, many marine employers are scamming their way out of paying the required “prevailing wages” to employees working on federal project contracts.

The shipping companies have in many cases gotten over 1000% increases in freight rates. They are making a lot of money.

The offshore oil patch is making a comeback and they are struggling to crew their boats at higher wages

We mariners, especially us licensed tugboat mariners, need to demand and receive much bigger wage increases this year.

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I am not disagreeing, but am somewhat of a realist.

That $5000/week for travelling nurses works out to a “day rate” of about $700 to $850 per day (I have assumed they work 5 or 6 days a week)/ That is comparable to what many mates are getting as discussed above. Consider also that these travelling nurses may not be getting additional compensation for lodging and meals, and that their work hours are probably comparable (12-16 hours per day). So if that is viewed by Congress as excessive, despite being driven by market forces (i.e. the employers are willing to pay it to attract scarce personnel), what likelihood is there that mariners can do better, especially when, unlike the travelling nurses, the employers may be loath to pay more? A similar shortage of mariners may be the only thing that can work. Is anyone willing to stay home for the greater good?

Again, I don’t disagree, but have to wonder how a similar increase in compensation can be achieved.

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In the past, I have rented apartments to traveling nurses working at the local hospital. The staffing companies paid. I don’t know whether the nurses got a grub allowance or simply had to buy their own groceries.

Biggest difference is that many of the nurses are getting more pay for the perceived COVID risk. Although, many of them are exposed to COVID, they have really good protective gear and protocols. A neighbor who is a doctor at the local hospital tells me that while the hospital has been overflowing with COVID patients, there have been very few hospital staff COVID cases; none of which can be confirmed as caught at the hospital.

A few weeks ago while Boston had a high 28% covid infection rate, Mass General with 83,000 employees only had 2000 out sick.

Most mariners do not bear such COVID risks, but on the other hand protective gear and procedures are primitive while traveling and on the boats. Far too many crew members have a negligent attitude and fail to take effective precautions onboard, or especially when they go ashore. I know of several tugboats where the entire crew got COVID.

I do not think mariners can get a 100% or more wage increase like the nurses. The mariner supply shortage is no where near as severe as the nurse shortage. Maritime employers don’t have both hands in the huge federal cookie jar like the hospitals do.

Inflation is not 7% as the government claims. Anyone that is buying a house, renovating a house, buying heating oil, buying appliances, or food knows that inflation is far far over 7%. 20% is typical with many items over 100%.

I think that about a 50% wage increase in 2022 for licensed mariners is appropriate, affordable, and possible. Some companies (especially with multi year union contracts) won’t have to give much, if any, of an increase, but most companies are going to have to pay more to crew the boats this year.

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I love that hospitals are facing the penalties of their shitty pay and employment policies so they go bitching to the government to pass a law forcing nurses to accept crap pay.

Hey hospitals, if you paid reasonable money you wouldn’t have staffing shortages and this need to pay for travel nurses.

200% is triple and 300% is quadruple.

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Yes of course. Fixed it.

8 posts were split to a new topic: Off topic from wages thread

I hear that Western Towboat sent out an email awhile ago announcing higher wages are coming.

Have they arrived? What are they?

I hear 6% increase at Western Towboat. That seems rather small.

Base Master $754
Master (west of Cape Spencer) $830

Base Deckhand $348
Deckhand (west of Cape Spencer) $382

Western often sails short one deckhand and splits the missing man’s wage among the crew. That bumps Master to about $916 and deckhands to about $420. Guys with seniority get more.

I have not heard about Deckineer or Mate pay.

Nor have I heard about cargo pay.

Western’s pay appears to be about average.

Hello, What company? I’m tankerman AB

What companies?

How do you know

Hey, they (Western) did give out a 6 percent raise.
Mates were at $503
With the raise it went up to $533.
You are correct about them running short and the crew splitting the pay. There are a lot of 5 man crews instead of 6. They seem to be having major turnover right now.
Hands down the nicest and cleanest boats around, though.
You should live local because they have no dedicated schedule and no travel pay and most likely you will be on a different boat with a different crew every trip until you can get on a permanent boat.

I used to work there.

This was in reference to vitus.

Where I work a deckhand is a guy with only an OS endorsement, or no MMC at all. Is that the case here? Or does the term “deckhand” in this case mean an AB?

I did not know how Western distinguishes between OS and ABs. They also have Deckineers that certainly make more.

A lot of tugs are 99 GRT, so no MMC required for the deckhands.

Same for you as an UIFV?

Certainly, at some companies there is a big difference between OS and AB pay. But at some other companies there may not be any difference.

At some companies, an OS with proven Alaska tugboat skills that can operate equipment, set ramps, load and unload cargo, lash cargo , etc. would probably get paid quite a bit more than an AB unlimited without those skills.

At the mom and pop non-union companies, what people get may depend more on their longevity, perceived value to the company , and negotiating skills than anything else.

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Yes. At CTI deck crew is split between ABs and deckhands. Deckhands don’t require MMC or STCW.
Because of it, deckhands with no sailing/Alaska experience start at only $200. But top OS deckhands make $350. At any rate, lowest paid AB deckhand here makes $390 (highest about $490). New hire ABs make $350. More with Alaska experience.

Because our guys get 1.5 days for each calendar days of seatime, like some tugs do, it only takes five 25-day voyages to get enough seatime for AB-fishing, so a green new hire can nearly double his pay in a year.

Is it normal for most tugs to sail without a designated cook? If so, who cooks?

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Yeah, pretty normal. Some companies run designated cooks. Some union contracts pay the AB more with those duties.

Generally speaking, the ab on the back watch will handle the cooking duties, and it may only be dinner. Rest of the day it’s a fend for yourself or whoever feels like making breakfast and lunch will do it.

Some boats if the rest of the crew wants to give the ab a break (or if their cooking sucks) they’ll chip in on dinner duty.

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