November 4th, 2011

Filipino Seafarers Receive Early Christmas Gift

Christmas came early for Filipino seafarers this year as they receive the news about the pay hike increase set for 2012 as the International Bargaining Forum (IBF), International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) reached a final agreement regarding the issue.

The conclusion of the bargaining from both sides resulted in a three year deal that will be applied to all IBF agreements which will take effect next year. The final agreement also included an incremental pay for the Filipino seafarers over the next three years.

Starting on January 1, 2012 the seafarers will receive a 2.0 increase on their salary which will be followed by a 2.5 percent increment the following year while the final 3.0 percent will take place on 2014. The terms of the new agreement also mentioned that the percentage increase will also be applied to an element which includes both pay and union funding.

However, other specifics on the hike increase for officers and rating categories will be decided through local negotiations.  Cost items agreed upon during the said negotiations also included the introduction of an incentive increase in ITF Welfare Fund rebates to the IBF of an additional five percent, on top of the current five percent, if the number of vessels being covered under IBF agreements increases year on year by two percent, two percent and one percent during the years 2012 to 2014, respectively.

Specific amendments to the articles of the IBF were also discussed during the negotiations. Among the items discussed were the changes in the period that is defined as probationary when a seafarer commences his or her first term of employment.