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Re: Dan Walters: Ship pilots, shippers take their money fight to Capitol: AB 907

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  • usaseapower
    PMSA Statement & San Francisco Bar Pilot Rebuttal on Rate Increase Legislation Wednesday, June 15, 2011 PMSA, Rate Increases for the San Francisco Bay Pilot
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 16, 2011
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      PMSA Statement & San Francisco Bar Pilot Rebuttal on Rate Increase Legislation
      Wednesday, June 15, 2011
      PMSA, Rate Increases for the San Francisco Bay Pilot Monopoly Fail To Pass Key Senate Committee:

      Legislation that would increase compensation to $530,000 a year for each San Francisco Bar Pilot who moves container and cruise ships in and about of the bay, today failed to get the votes it needs to pass a key Senate committee. AB 907 (Ma), on a 6-5 vote, did not pass the Senate Governmental Organization Committee, however it was granted reconsideration and could be heard again in committee on June 28th.

      Given the arcane rules that govern the San Francisco Bar Pilot monopoly, all increases in the rates paid to the pilots by their ocean carrier customers must be approved by the state Legislature. Despite a whopping and enviable 60% pay increase in the last nine years -- during a time when millions of Californians have lost their jobs -- the pilot monopoly is seeking to boost net pay to an unbelievable $530,000 in 2015. To remain viable in international trade, California ports must remain cost competitive -- and while the many different costs that go into shipping may seem insignificant on a per ton basis, no cost increase is trivial.

      The San Francisco Bar Pilots respond:

      The San Francisco Bar Pilots remain engaged in the public oversight and review process now underway in the California Legislature of the modest rate increase recommended by the state Board of Pilot Commissioners. It is regrettable, but perhaps not unexpected, that the Pacific Merchants Shipping Association is seeking to block legislation that will enhance maritime safety in Northern California and provide for an additional pilot to help safely guide the largest vessels expected to transit San Francisco Bay. The amount of the rate increase would cost the users of pilot services around 16 cents per shipping container. This is at a time when shipping companies are reaping average profits of around $560 per container.

      Pilot rates have not gone up in five years. We think this recommended rate increase, to be paid primarily by foreign shipping companies, is fair and warranted, given the dangerous, important job the pilots perform on the water every day.

      http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/pmsa-statement-san-francisco-bar-pilot-rebuttal-on-rate-increase-legislation

    • capt.ob@comcast.net
      All Hands: The SF BarPilots do not receive a salary. The Charges to vessels are based on tonnage, draft, etc....The pilots are now negotiating rates
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 17, 2011
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        All Hands:
        The SF Bar Pilots do not receive a salary.  The charges to vessels are based on tonnage, draft, etc....The pilots are now negotiating rates comparable to other like ports. It's amazing that those who are commenting on this issue have probably never been on the bridge of a vessel and witnessed the conning of a ship in close quarters, let alone conned a ship, or have even gone to sea. The pilots EARN every dime of their annual share. I've seen pilots in many foreign ports, and none compare to the SF Bar Pilots...a Busan pilot, going too fast in the fog, t-boned the President Washington some years back...I've seen the Captain take the conn away from the pilot for incompetence, on several occasions, the last time going into Freeport in the Bahamas... The Captain has final authority and responsibility for the safe navigation of his vessel, except in two instances: While transiting the Suez Canal, and when the forefoot of the vessel crosses the treshold of a graving dock. God Bless the Pilots!

        Captain K.C. O'Brien, (ret.)
         International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO





      • usaseapower
        ... From: MARK L SHAFER To: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, June 18, 2011 Subject: Re: [PMMC-NLUS] Re: Dan Walters: Ship pilots, shippers take their
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 19, 2011
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: MARK L SHAFER
          To: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Saturday, June 18, 2011
          Subject: Re: [PMMC-NLUS] Re: Dan Walters: Ship pilots, shippers take their money fight to Capitol: AB 907

          Good for you brother. When I was 3rd mate on the Santa Rosa passenger liner built before WWII, the captain took the con from pilots on several occasions.

          Aloha,

          Mark
          _____________________________

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Charles Gedney
          To: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, June 19, 2011
          Subject: Re: [PMMC-NLUS] Re: Dan Walters: Ship pilots, shippers take their money fight to Capitol: AB 907

          Hi Kerry,

          The third place where the Capt does not have control is the Panama Canal.

          Also people tend to overlook the high costs of building and maintaining the pilot boats and the Drake, the crews on the boats and their office staffs, the rent for their offices. They were fortunate in the last few years in not having any accidents serious weather damage which have cut their profit.

          Land Lubbers overlook the dangers involved. It is a job I did not want.

          Chick Gedney
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