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Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:27 am
Has anyone here worked for NTCL and if so
1 When they start in the spring what kind of shift pattern do they have
2 What kind of pay for a Chief and also 2nd eng
Anything you can pass on would be appreciative
Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:12 pm
I've worked for NTCL. The experience depends on which part of NTCL you are working for. There is the large western operations and there is eastern operations which runs "ice class" supply vessels. Western operations brings in crews in May for vessel refit and activation with the season ending in october usually, last couple years it has been mid to late october. New employees are brought in around the last week of may or afterwards depending on needs. Since it is a short shipping season, there is no real leave system, but after your first full season, you can opt to take an 18 day leave with company paid transportation. Otherwise you spend the whole season onboard.(There are incentives for staying) On the eastern side I beleive it is 6 weeks on/off all year. Pay and working experience are very different between both sides. The western side is with the CMSG and eastern is only when in the arctic. I've been told pay drops dramatically when the vessels leave the arctic. If you complete a full season you are looking at 70k for 2/E and 80 for a C/E. Adding on vacation pay, incentives, and the probability that the season is extended past contract length you can get close to six figures and for long term employees can go well over.
Hope this answers some of your questions.
Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:11 pm
Thanks,that was helpful
Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:11 am
I have just retired from 30 years with NTCL. What Stokes says is pretty on the money as far as schedule and pay. The incentives he is talking about when dealing with taking a Mid Season Break (MSB), was inserted into the contract at the last set of negotiations, and works out to close to 14,000 dollars for NOT taking holidays. If you are a family person, this length of season will be hard. The vessels are old but have been on the most part well maintained, but in the last few years there seems to be a shift to saving money and spending less on maintenance. And with the advancing age of the workforce, this has mean't new engineers being hired that have less expierience working in Arctic environments. Thus there has been an accident where a vessel was not winterized properly and basically sunk at the dock in Tuk harbour. One main engine and both gearboxes under water, not a good thing.
One main worry throughtout the fleet on the Western Operations (Hay River), is the lack of communication between the East Coast Operation and the West Coast. The Eastern branch seems to work on a "Do as you please, when you want, however which way you want, and don't expect to get any money for it" type of organization. The vessels they charter are old and in very, very sad shape. It is like the Western division works with the Unions while the Eastern division does not want anything to do with Unions. They are 2 completly different organizations, with different hiring practices and work ethics.
Over the last 5 years, the company has had a void in its Engineering Organization in its Western division. There has been no serious Engineering Representation in the office structure. This is now showing its ugly face in real terms with the maintenance that is now required to keep these vessels going. There have been vessels being repowered with modern Cat 3512's, and are now showing signs of weardown that should not have occurred until another 5 years from now, and still no one in the office has sufficient knowledge or expierience to be able to explain what is happening or to know how to investigate why this is happening. If you are thinking of taking on an engineering position with this company, plan on almost no office support from any knowledgeable engineering staff. I will not go into all of the organizational defects here, for there are far too many too list, but suffice it to say that things are getting worse and not better. But then, this might turn around, who knows what the future holds.
As far as working with the rest of the crews goes, this has always been a great place to work with a great bunch of people, this being the Western side of things, for I have never worked on the Eastern side, and will never work for those penny pinchers.
I hope this helped, good luck in your work pursuit.
Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:41 pm
Thanks alot,that seems to be the way .I last few years I have been doing relief work and I,m getting enough.I was called twice over the years that I can remember(western part) but was always working.If I remember they would get you a relief for a few weeks in the summer(that was one of my calls)Alot of companies seem to be getting worst and I can,t see it getting any better.I could go on and on about what I see but what is the use.
Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:39 am
The main operations for NTCL is in Hay River also known as Western or Arctic Operations and they also have the Eastern Operations in Halifax. I can't speek must for the Western Operations but I can for Eastern. The Eastern Operation want to be seperate from the West, but over the last couple of years the West have gained a lot of control over the vessesl regarding All Pay and other benifits are all mannaged from Hay River. Yes, right now Eastern Operations do their own Hiring where Western Operations usually hire from the CMSG in Vancouver. Due to the activies of supply ships working in the Western Arctic and in Hudson Bay, to keep the company one, All officers are repersented by the CMSG, including the Eastern Operations, in the past we the ship crossed 60 degrees North they became unionized and had to pay union dues like everyone esle and their pay incresed slightly, but not anymore the Union and NTCL singed a Letter of understanding stating that Eastern Operations Officer will be unionized all year around with the same pay on 3 of the ships is has. The one ship not included on this was the supply ship that was chartered and re-registered Canadian (Ocean Tern) running from Halifax to Sable Island Gas Field. This union thing as been in place for two years now and at the next contract talks those 3 ships will be added into the full contract. This is not said about the unlicenced crew, in the past they would be part of the SIU un above 60N and un-unionized then below 60N with pay difference. As of October 1st the unlicenced crew are now full members fo the SIU full time, but they will not be joining the Western Operations in there contract the Eastern Crews have their own.
NTCL dose charter a few vessels every year to run in the Hudson Bay area NT dose not have enough vessel in that area, even with th vessel the "Pat Lyle" on loan but crewed by the West even know the Hudson bay in mannaged by the East. Usually the chartered vessels are crewed by the comapny that they charter them from (Miller Shipping) an even cheaper company then NTCL..haha. But it has been known that to put a couple of NTCL crew on these vessel to make up a couple of full crews when they charter a tug from Halifax (Svitzer the old ECTUG)
The Eastern Operations sometimes feel like its a Fly-by-night company this even know its been running for 5 years now. The seem to do things on the cheap, half fast. Now they've purchased a ex-Canadian Vessel and brought it back to Canada and with the cost overuns they have now fired the President and CFO over this issus.
As all of the Western Fleet lays up in the Winter the Eastern Fleet mostly operates year around, but sometimes the vessels do lay up as well as they are right now in St. John's Harbour, and will reactivate sometime around Feburary for Ice Operations on the Garnd Banks. So this is not a good time to apply for a job with NT, but after Christmas for the Eastern Fleet will be better and in April/May for Western Fleet. You can apply both the a CMSG and at the Halifax office for employment.
Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:41 pm
Hi Skyhawk, just a quick note. The Eastern Operations have only been around for 5 or 6 years, while the Western Operations have been around for over 70 years. The Eastern Office started out non-union and it certainly looked to us in the West that there may be some union busting happening, so we had to force the issue to clear the air. It was a strange arrangement, to say the least. They (East) were using our vessels but crewing with non-union personnel. This Miller Marine group, has anyone heard any good stories from these guys? I have heard some pretty scary stuff, barges sinking, boats sinking etc. I wonder if you heard the latest, seems the Stone Merchant(?) barge that was being towed behind the Keewatin has sunk in Hudson's Bay. They were sailing out of HB only 2 weeks ago, in my 29 years working up in the Arctic, this is an extremely late and dangerous time to be sailing in HB, even with the Keewatin. I also understand that the new vessel purchased, ex Sea Biscuit, ex Nanabush, now the David Amos, was in such bad shape before departing for Canada, that the Chief Engineer and Captain refused to sail her until certain deficiencies were dealt with. Alas, they were sent home and some new personnel were brought in. The ship broke down off Portugal and drifted for 3 days from what I understand. These stories go on and on. So a heads up may be a good idea before embarking out with the Eastern Ops. And yes, the President of NTCL has just been let go. The most important question now is who is going to replace him? And is there going to be more head lopping? In the East or in the West?
Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:58 am
Good to hear that the board has taken action with regards to the management of the last few years. I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with the aftermath of the poorly winterized vessel last year and the problems with the 3512s this spring. Wyatt is absolutely right about the maintenance practices, overtime got cut in the spring and more things had to be done in a shorter period of time. And the shipyard... It is the only one i have been to that does what they want for maintenance mostly, and little of what the captain and C/E have submitted for the refit. Really odd. There does not seem to be much marine experience in upper management at all and it is really hurting the vessels and the company. With all the retirements of 25+ year vets of the company it does not look good. This was one of the main reasons i left, the future doesn't look good and the lack of experience that will be in the wheelhouse in the next couple years scared the hell outta me. Running the Mackenzie with guys that have only done it a couple times didn't sound like fun, specially when you sail with skippers who have done it 30 years and it still gets them sometimes but at least that can get you out of some real bad spots with their experience. Engineers too, lack of experience sailing up there can get you stuck in the middle of the arctic with no fuel or water. I got tons of respect for the guys that have worked these tugs for so long. After all that, i really did like the work and the experience up there. If management makes some major changes to how things are done and the union doesn't roll over like they have been lately with the next contract i would reapply for a job. But i think that is wishful thinking.
Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:05 pm
Just to make one correction to Wyatt: "I also understand that the new vessel purchased, ex Sea Biscuit, ex Nanabush, now the David Amos" that vessel is the Michael Amos not the David Amos. You can now go on the NTCL web site and see a picture of it. Though they have a old picture of the Michael on it when it was owned by ATL in its Blue colours. No I didn't here anything regarding the Keewatin yet, but I can tell you that I have towed the Stone Merchant a couple of times and both times as not good. Reciently this summer and it was leaking before and during the tirp up to HB. And No I have not heard anything good to come from the Miller Group. Funny thing that it was Patty Miller himself that loaded the Stone Merchant in Quebec. He and his company is worse then NTCL and maybe he can load a barge, but with the problems we had on it, he's scary. NTCL has a new President now, just reading an artical on CBC and can't remember the name, but it's a Female, All the best to her if she can turn NTCL around for the best.
Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:55 pm
Hi Seahawk, you are correct about the Amos name. The new President as far as I can tell is Carmen Loberg, who was the President of Canadian North, then got the CEO of Norterra job, and now is the interim President of NTCL. He has been around for quite some time. What I am really curious about is if Gerrard Dunphy is still with the organisation?
Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:52 pm
I should know about the Amos, as I was on her in St. John's, NL where all three vessels (Jim Kilabuk, Alex Gordon, and Micheal Amos) are laid up right now till the Ice Patrol get uderway on the East coast. Well Gerrard Dunphy is VP Eastern Operations or something like that. As far as I know he was still in command of the Eastern Operations. I figured he would be next in line for the President Job...lol. I guess I'll find out next time I go back to work.
Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:05 pm
Hi Skyhawk, would you know where the Keewatin is located? I have been told it is nothing like it used to be. In pretty sad shape. When I worked on her back in '96, '98, it was in fine shape, always painted up and everything working great. Old Fred Yetman would be turning in his grave if he saw has become of her. Very sad.
Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:24 pm
No, I dont' know where the Keewatin is at this time. Last Winter NT put a lot of money into her over $1M and Painter all up with the new colours of the East which is Red Hull with a orange strip (like that of the white Coast Guard strip) and white superstructure black stacks. But I'll look into it and ask around.
Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:01 pm
Thanks Skyhawk, 1 million is not that much, especially when the poor old girl was sunk to the dock a couple of times in the last few years. I understand that 2 of the mains and gearboxes were filled with water. Not a good thing to say the least. I knew the Chief Engineer quite well, Arthur Nelmes, who passed away 2 years past. He had that engineroom spotless and in fine working shape when he was forced off.
Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:19 am
The Keewatin is in Newfoundland, she's hidding in Mount Carmel...haha "Patty Ville"