Why so many Chief Mates quitting MSC?

  • At least 4 Chief Mates have quit in the last few months. Most are taking jobs with Noble and Transocean.

  • Can MSC be that bad with all those great federal benifits? What’s a Chief Mate make, I would say $180,000 - $220,000 / year.

  • Is life really that good on drill ships?

  • There is a big shortage of Chief Mates at MSC right, every time someone quits it is a mjor blow to this fine outifit.

  • They promoted too many of these young Chief Mates to temp Captain, only makes the shortage/overdue relief problem worse.

  • Gotta knock these kids back down to Chief Mate.

1 Like

Lots of people don’t want to work the nine or ten months that you do at MSC. They will make the same money for six months work

1 Like

There is a big shortage of Chief Mates at MSC right, every time someone quits it is a mjor blow to this fine outifit.

That’s sarcasm right?

[QUOTE=UnRepKing;91137]- What’s a Chief Mate make, I would say $180,000 - $220,000 / year.[/QUOTE]

Federal aggregate pay cap of $199,700. Anything that a Chief Mate, First Engineer, Master, Chief Engineer makes over that (including subsistence during shipyard) is held by the U.S. Government in a no-interest account for payment when their aggregate pay is below the cap amount. That “black hole” account is just another reason for the good ones to depart.

[QUOTE=UnRepKing;91137]- At least 4 Chief Mates have quit in the last few months…only makes the shortage/overdue relief problem worse.[/QUOTE]

Just got a note from an MSC Chief Mate who was finally relieved 114 days AFTER their due date. Any wonder why they are leaving in droves? Perhaps if MSC sent all of their shoreside personnel with licenses out as relief mates/engineers they could slow the hemmorhage.

It sounds like they are forced to leave in order to get their earned, but sequestered, wages actually paid out to them.

[QUOTE=LauHalaLana;91278]Just got a note from an MSC Chief Mate who was finally relieved 114 days AFTER their due date. Any wonder why they are leaving in droves? Perhaps if MSC sent all of their shoreside personnel with licenses out as relief mates/engineers they could slow the hemmorhage.[/QUOTE]

Is there any change in hell these shoreside yahoos would ever agree to go back to sea? Looks like MSC has a deep and very serious problem on their hands.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;91297]It sounds like they are forced to leave in order to get their earned, but sequestered, wages actually paid out to them.[/QUOTE]

I wonder how “sequestered wages” work on income tax?

Noble will hire anyone with a license and throw them into a position they are not qualified to do! I am sure some of them are great sailors and understand ship operations, but to go from a Chief Mate at MSC to a CM on a Drillship is absurd. I personally also think it would be the same for someone from drilling to go box boat or tanker in the same capacity as a slap in the face to all that have worked in that area of expertise, just to have someone thrown in there because they have a qualification, but not the experience.

I can think of a couple I would recommend for a job somewhere else.

Don’t kid yourself. None of the bozos in the officer have licenses. Oh sure, the port officers do, like PC and PE, but they are going back anyway. Taylor " was" a third engineer, McKenna is a retired USN 06 nothing and never had a license. I doubt any of the class managers maintained a license and if they did they had zero experience. Nope, Msc has made its bed and now has to deal with it. Such a shame as it could have been a decent place to work. I still maintain contact with some fellow masters, one was overdue recently by 30 days or more. Unheard of in years past. To make matters worse, the few decent chief mates now with msc cannot get a chance to sail master as there are no chief mates to replace them! And around and around we go…

MSC also doesn’t really have a plan to promote 2nd Mates to Chief Mates. We still have the reimbursable upgrade program but if your balancing a mortgage as well as other things normal in life while taking the classes and paying out of pocket things can get a little tighter than most are comfortable with. Sure you get the money back but that doesn’t help much when things get tight for your other financial responsibilities. They won’t pay your base rate while your going to classes and you essential have to go on leave without pay while fitting the bill for everything. I know you can get the signoffs while on ship now however I am a 2nd Mate and I was filling the 1/O Cargo Mate billet on an ammo ship for almost a year and there was no extra time to do anything except working on meeting the massive admin & operational requirements my ship was tasked with. Luckily the training coordinator is helping me where they can but they have to go by current policy and with the budget being an every widening concern I don’t foresee anything getting better anytime soon.

[QUOTE=LauHalaLana;91278]Just got a note from an MSC Chief Mate who was finally relieved 114 days AFTER their due date. Any wonder why they are leaving in droves? Perhaps if MSC sent all of their shoreside personnel with licenses out as relief mates/engineers they could slow the hemmorhage.[/QUOTE]

Bet THAT was popular. Exactly why I quit years ago.

[QUOTE=Xmsccapt(ret);92421]Don’t kid yourself. None of the bozos in the officer have licenses. Oh sure, the port officers do, like PC and PE, but they are going back anyway. Taylor " was" a third engineer, McKenna is a retired USN 06 nothing and never had a license. I doubt any of the class managers maintained a license and if they did they had zero experience. [/QUOTE]

MSC requires the DCOs to maintain current licenses. They are in general a burden on the system, and should be sent back to sea for a couple of months every year. And I wonder which PC/PE you know that willingly go back to sea. I can think of a number of them who have successfully avoided sea duty for several years.

All true, DCO’s do maintain a license, but seldom do they use it except to upgrade when sea time is needed. While a few C/E and "special assistants " with a masters license were able to spent years in the office the majority of them go back to sea after a two - three year shoreside tour. Even if you could get all the shore side to sea that possesses a current license it would be a drop in the bucket and not make much difference anyway. Not when you are 18 chief mates short. A novel idea would be to treat the employees better in the first place…

[QUOTE=PDCMATE;91499]Noble will hire anyone with a license and throw them into a position they are not qualified to do! I am sure some of them are great sailors and understand ship operations, but to go from a Chief Mate at MSC to a CM on a Drillship is absurd. I personally also think it would be the same for someone from drilling to go box boat or tanker in the same capacity as a slap in the face to all that have worked in that area of expertise, just to have someone thrown in there because they have a qualification, but not the experience.[/QUOTE]

There are plenty of people at MSC that are qualified and have little experience. I road the salvage boats for a while and watched plenty of mates sign on to do [B]1[/B] tow and get their TOAR signed off. It used to piss me off to hear the young mates say they were “just checking the boxes” in their meteoric rise to MSC superstardom.

A DCO relieved a Chief Mate on an east coast oiler for during Nov-Dec. Another DCO is serving on a west coast oiler right now as Chief Mate. I’ll admit there are some DCO’s who will never relieve a seagoing mariner but there aren’t that many to go around in the first place. In general I can place the blame on “the office”. As a group they care little about the well being of mariners. I’m not implying that mariners need babying but the callousness of the crewing branch is unbelieveable. I believe a few of the recent escapees will be back as soon as they find out working in the oil patch is not all its cracked up to be.

True, Msc cannot manage people, never could, never has and never will. One big problem is that the office is filled with people that never went to sea for a living or if they did not for long. The office sees the sea going personnel as the enemy. More than once it’s been said by the shore staff " this would be a good job if it were not for those mariners". The gulf has changed. Once one could get by with little professional knowledge and a 200 ton license. With the larger vessels coming, DP and heading out to other shores the companies now enjoy unlimited license and are willing to pay for them. Making $800 - $1200 a day with a 28/28 routine could be a job that last an entire career. I know if this had been the case 15 - 20 years ago during my Msc career I would have been gone like a shot! Why anyone would stay with Msc these days is well beyond my comprehension.

1 Like

Did you know that MSC is now hiring Port Engineers right out of college with no previous sea experience? True fact. Met one recently. Not sure what the crew thought of him. He was all of 23… I guess anything to justify crappy pay…