Issuu on Google+

PORT WELFARE COMMITTEES A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THEIR IMPLEMENTATION AND MANAGEMENT

Prepared by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, United Kingdom For The International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare nd 2 Floor, Forsyth House 77 Clarendon Road Watford, WD171DS Hertfordshire United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 1923 222653; Fax: +44 (0) 1923 222663 E-mail: icsw@icsw.org.uk; Web: www.seafarerswelfare.org

i


TABLE OF CONTENTS PORT WELFARE COMMITTEES What is a Port Welfare Committee?

1

The Benefits of a Port Welfare Committee

1

Who Needs a Port Welfare Committee?

1

Legislative Requirements

1

The Primary Responsibility of a PWC

2

Membership of a Port Welfare Committee

2

The Structure of a Port Welfare Committee

3

Location of Meetings

3

Frequency of Meetings

3

Reports of Members

3

NATIONAL WELFARE BOARDS National Seafarers’ Welfare Boards

4

Appendix 1 Suggested Terms of Reference for a Port Welfare Committee operating with a National Welfare Board

5

Appendix 2 Suggested Terms of Reference for a Port Welfare Committee operating without a National Welfare Board

8

Annex 1

Local Case Study 1 Swedish Government Seamen’s Service Local Case Study 2 National Seafarers’ Welfare Advisory Council Australia

ii

10 12


WHAT IS A PORT WELFARE COMMITTEE? A Ports Welfare Committee (PWC) is a forum in which representatives of all those organisations concerned with the welfare of seafarers visiting and residing within their ports can meet on a regular basis. A Committee can focus on one large port or cover a wider area that might include a number of ports of various sizes. In some states PWCs can be part of a National Welfare Board, which will act as the coordinating organisation for each committee. THE BENEFITS OF A PORT WELFARE COMMITTEE A Port Welfare Committee provides a forum where organisations, with a common interest in the welfare of seafarers, can meet to resolve difficulties and enhance the levels of services and facilities locally. Additionally it provides an opportunity to promote a better mutual understanding of members’ policies and objects. Another major benefit is that of fostering close and harmonious working relationships between members with diverse interests. This can be essential in times of crisis and also can often be used to resolve actual, or potential, difficulties at an early stage outside of meetings. WHO NEEDS A PORT WELFARE COMMITTEE? Any state with a seaboard almost certainly has regular trade by sea and thus visiting ships and, more importantly, seafarers. Often these men and women are overseas visitors in a strange country with limited resources and opportunities. Their welfare needs vary from seeing a friendly face able to provide pastoral care, advice, arrange a visit to the shops, a phone call home, etc. to medical care, legal advice and sometimes the affects of abandonment. Others who may benefit are those serving or retired seafarers and their families residing in the port locality. They too may require the support laid out above in addition to family issues such as separation, unemployment, sickness, disablement or death of a loved one. A PWC is recognised by the international (and many national) agencies, including the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as the most effective means to co-ordinate seafarers' welfare in a given area. LEGISLATIVE REQUIREMENTS At the time of writing only those states that have ratified ILO Convention 163 are obligated, under Recommendation 173, to set up Port Welfare Committees (and Welfare Boards). It is anticipated that the ILO Consolidated Maritime Convention will include all the requirements and recommendations laid down in 163 and 173 and, hopefully, will be more widely adopted.

1


Notwithstanding the above comments, states that have not ratified the Convention will certainly benefit from following the guidelines as closely as practicable. These are contained in Recommendation 173 and within this document. Significantly a large number of countries have not ratified Convention 163 but have either established PWCs or are considering doing so. WHAT IS THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY OF A PWC A PWC should endeavour to ensure that the welfare needs of seafarers using the port/s, or domiciled in the area, are met as effectively as possible without unnecessary duplication of services. This may include: ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾

The provision of pastoral and non pastoral care and advice. In larger, busier ports, the provision of seafarers’ centres with a range of services and facilities. Where possible low cost telecommunications and Internet facilities. Easy access between the ship and local amenities within the necessary constraints of port security and safety regulations. Access to medical services. Access to legal advice. Access to places of worship Recommendations on proposals for new services, or changes and discontinuance of existing services. Provide recommendations on local grant applications to donor organisations e.g. ITF Seafarers’ Trust Lobbying for a port levy scheme, when appropriate, and monitoring the effective use of funds raised under such a scheme.

MEMBERSHIP OF A PORT WELFARE COMMITTEE Membership of a PWC should be restricted to representatives of organisations and not to individuals. Ideally this should include all those organisations who, directly or indirectly, may become involved in welfare issues. Below are some examples of member organisations, although this list should not be regarded as exhaustive: ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾

Port authorities Wharf and terminal operators Local ship owners Crew agencies Local shipping agents – the port users Port state control officers Port chaplains and/or ship welfare visitors Seafarers’ centre managers Trade union representatives – including local ITF inspectorate Local authority representatives e.g. city council Port health Port medical officer Port security Consulate representatives from major maritime states using port

2


THE STRUCTURE OF A PORT WELFARE COMMITTEE Each Committee should elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman, whilst a secretary should be appointed either from a national welfare board or by the members. The Chairman and Vice Chairman should be elected for their experience and understanding of seafarers’ welfare needs locally. Ideally they should represent an organisation that is not in a position to ‘benefit in kind’ (e.g. a grant application) from any proposal requiring endorsement from among the members. Committees may wish to consider electing a chairman, who has recently retired from one of the member organisations. Such persons can sometimes bring many years of experience combined with the wide respect of other members. The position of chairman and vice chairman should be reviewed, via an election, on a regular basis, perhaps annually. The secretary’s role is to: ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾

arrange the date and place of meetings. prepare and circulate agendas with member’s reports. disseminate details of issues that maybe of a wider national, or international, significance. record and distribute minutes. maintain a database of members. liaise with the chairman over all the aforementioned and any other issues of significance. distribute, to other interested organisations, the minutes of each meeting and any matters of significance. to lobby, on behalf of the members when appropriate, local or national organisations to improve seafarers’ welfare.

Committees should hold Annual General Meetings during which membership can be confirmed and when necessary, elections held. When a state has more than one PWC the opportunity for the chairmen, or vice chairmen, of each committee, to meet on an annual basis should be considered as beneficial. LOCATION OF MEETINGS PWCs should be encouraged to meet at different locations within their area to give members a better understanding of the work of their colleagues. FREQUENCY OF MEETINGS Meetings should be arranged, ideally, between two and four times per year. It is important to remember that if only two meetings are held annually, then any member that misses a meeting will have an absence of 12 months. REPORTS OF MEMBERS Members should be encouraged to provide written reports, to the secretary, in time for distribution with the agenda for the next meeting. This is particularly important when there is an issue of concern, as it will enable other members to make a considered response and suggestions. Verbal reports can be made either as a substitute or an update.

3


NATIONAL WELFARE BOARDS Whilst the purpose of this document is to provide advice on Port Welfare Committees, there is clearly an opportunity to consider the benefit of establishing a National Welfare Board (NWB), particularly in those states where there is more than one port area. Its role is to act as the coordinator for all issues concerning seafarers’ welfare within the state. This is also included under ILO Recommendation 173. A NWB should endeavour to include, among its members, representatives of the national ship owners or employers, seafarers’ trade unions and maritime welfare agencies. On this basis it can act as an umbrella for all organisations involved in seafarers’ welfare and additionally represent its interests in the national forums such as the ICSW. The organisation can be simply a ‘committee’ wherein members meet on a regular basis, perhaps annually. Alternatively it can be a larger organisation employing a secretary and, if necessary, other members of staff. In this instance, among its duties, it can act as secretariat for all PWCs. GENERAL It is often beneficial for a meeting to begin or conclude with refreshments. This enables members to meet socially and foster closer working relationships. CONCLUSION The International Committee on Seafarers Welfare would like to encourage all those countries with a seaboard to establish Port Welfare Committees in their ports. Where appropriate, consideration should also be given to the benefits of National Welfare Boards. To assist in either of these objectives it is pleased to coordinate advice from those states where such arrangements are already in place.

4


APPENDIX I SUGGESTED TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR AN INDIVIDUAL PORT WELFARE COMMITTEES WITHIN A NATIONAL WELFARE BOARD

THE NATIONAL WELFARE BOARD TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR PORT WELFARE COMMITTEES INTRODUCTION The National Welfare Board adheres to a principle subsequently laid down in International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 163 and any successive Convention. The Board recognises the unique strengths of the various organisations subscribing to the Port Welfare Committees (PWCs) and the great value of their local knowledge and understanding of seafarers' needs. In addition to providing a formal meeting forum, membership of a committee provides an opportunity to meet and better understand the work of others involved with maritime welfare in that area. This can be invaluable at times of crisis, or even when dealing with day-to-day problems. The Committees, and through these the Board, are pleased to welcome, as members, those who have a contribution to make to the welfare of seafarers. OBJECTIVES Each Committee should encourage and co-ordinate the efforts of its members to provide welfare support and facilities for active and retired seafarers within its area. MEMBERSHIP Membership is drawn from organisations that contribute to the welfare of merchant seafarers, deep-sea fishermen and their dependents within the area covered by the local Committee. Members include representatives of the ship owners (frequently the shipping agents), crewing agencies, ship managers, seafarers' organisations (maritime trade unions), voluntary societies (charities), port authorities, port health, local government (including police authorities) and any other interested bodies. Membership is not provided to private individuals although they may be invited to attend meetings when appropriate. MEETINGS Frequency of Meetings Committees are encouraged to meet at regular intervals which is normally not less than twice nor more than four times per annum. One of those meetings will be an Annual General Meeting at which confirmation of, or changes in, the membership is recorded. At the AGM both the Chairman and Vice-Chairman are elected or re-elected. Location of Meetings Members are encouraged to hold meetings at venues connected with the welfare of seafarers within their area. This enables committee members to familiarise themselves with the work of colleagues.

5


Quorum A quorum consists of not less than three members representing three separate organisations. Notwithstanding the Chairman shall have the right to decide whether the numbers attending are sufficient to allow a meeting to be effective. Absence Members are asked to notify the Port Welfare Secretary, giving as much notice as possible, if they are unable to attend. This will enable the Board to consider an alternative date if there are only small numbers of members available. Any member who has missed three consecutive meetings, without apology, will be approached by the Board to confirm their willingness to continue to represent their organisation. Any member who misses more than five meetings, without apology, will be considered to have lapsed their membership and a replacement nomination shall be sought from their organisation. Secretariat The Board will be responsible for appointing the Secretariat for all committees ( Optional from among its staff). In co-operation with the Chairman the Secretary’s duty includes the preparation and distribution of agendas; the recording and distribution of minutes; liaison with members; maintaining a database of members’ details; dissemination of relevant information among members and other interested organisations. APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN The Committee, from among the members, nominates and elects the Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Ideally these will be from among the representatives of ship owners or seafarers although it is recognised that, in some circumstances, this may not always be practicable. DUTIES OF PORT WELFARE COMMITTEES The prime objective is to endeavour to ensure that both the serving (including those from overseas) and retired seafarers (and/or their dependents) are receiving the highest levels of welfare within the resources available. In undertaking this objective the committee should examine the needs of seafarers taking into account any relevant issues within the locality of their area and keep in mind that that duplication of effort is often wasteful. Capital Grant Applications All organisations making grants welcome, and indeed may require, the views of the local Port Welfare Committee on proposals for the opening, closing or major refurbishment of any seafarers' facility within the area and for the provision of additional or replacement vehicles. The recommendations and/or comments of the committees will be forwarded to the appropriate potential donor/s. Additionally the committees should monitor the progress of any application and subsequent work until completion. Member organisations are encouraged to raise, at an early time, any proposal for seeking a capital grant from a nautical charity either within their reports, or as separate agenda items. They should also make every attempt to attend any PWC meeting at which their application will be discussed in order that they can answer any questions or note suggestions. Member Organisations Reports to the Committee Member organisations are particularly encouraged to draw to the attention of the PWC, ideally by submitting a written report in advance, any issues that they consider may have local, national or international significance. Such reports will be attached to the Agenda in order that other members may consider and/or make recommendations. In the absence of a written report members shall be encouraged to verbally report matters of interest.

6


GENERAL All Chairmen or Vice-Chairmen are invited to attend, or nominate another member of their committee to attend, an annual meeting of the PWC Representatives. The Board will cover reasonable travel costs for one representative from each PWC to attend any one of the above meetings if no alternative funding can be found. This must be agreed with the Board in advance of the meeting. National Welfare Board’s Annual Objectives All Committees will be invited to comment annually on the proposed Objectives of the Board for the subsequent two years and to pass on, via the Secretariat, any comments. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Board recognises the valuable work of the Port Welfare Committee members, which is essential to the provision of proper welfare services to seafarers and their families in and around its national ports. In particular, it is grateful to the members who willingly give of their time to the achievement of these aims.

7


APPENDIX II SUGGESTED TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR AN INDIVIDUAL PORT WELFARE COMMITTEES WITHOUT A NATIONAL SUPPORT STRUCTURE INTRODUCTION The Port Welfare Committee (PWC) adheres to a principle subsequently laid down in International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 163 and any successive Convention. The Committee recognises the unique strengths of the various organisations subscribing to its membership and the great value of their local knowledge and understanding of seafarers' needs. In addition to providing a formal meeting forum, membership of the committee provides an opportunity to meet and better understand the work of others involved with maritime welfare in that area. This can be invaluable at times of crisis, or even when dealing with day-to-day problems. The Committee is pleased to welcome, as members, those who have a contribution to make to the welfare of seafarers. OBJECTIVES The Committee should encourage and co-ordinate the efforts of its members to provide welfare support and facilities for active and retired seafarers within its area. MEMBERSHIP Membership is drawn from organisations that contribute to the welfare of merchant seafarers, deep-sea fishermen and their dependents within the area covered by the local Committee. Members include representatives of the ship owners (frequently the shipping agents), crewing agencies, ship managers, seafarers' organisations (maritime trade unions), voluntary societies (charities), port authorities, port health, local government (including police authorities) and any other interested bodies. Membership is not provided to private individuals although they may be invited to attend meetings when appropriate. MEETINGS Frequency of Meetings The Committee is encouraged to meet at regular intervals, which is normally not less than twice nor more than four times per annum. One of those meetings will be an Annual General Meeting at which confirmation of, or changes in, the membership is recorded. At the AGM both the Chairman and Vice-Chairman are elected or reelected. Location of Meetings Members are encouraged to hold meetings at venues connected with the welfare of seafarers within their area. This enables committee members to familiarise themselves with the work of colleagues. Quorum A quorum consists of not less than three members representing three separate organisations. Notwithstanding the Chairman shall have the right to decide whether the numbers attending are sufficient to allow a meeting to be effective.

8


Absence Members are asked to notify the Secretary if they are unable to attend, giving as much notice as possible. This will enable the Chairman and Secretary to consider an alternative date if there are only small numbers of members available. Any member who has missed three consecutive meetings, without apology, will be approached by the Secretary to confirm their willingness to continue to represent their organisation. Any member who misses more than five meetings, without apology, will be considered to have lapsed their membership and a replacement nomination shall be sought from their organisation. Secretariat The Members will either provide the Secretariat from among their number, or appoint a Secretary with the necessary skills. In co-operation with the Chairman, the Secretary’s duty includes the preparation and distribution of agendas; the recording and distribution of minutes; liaison with members; maintaining a database of members’ details; dissemination of relevant information among members and other interested organisations. APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN The Committee, from among the members, nominates and elects the Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Ideally these will be from among the representatives of ship owners or seafarers although it is recognised that, in some circumstances, this may not always be practicable. DUTIES OF PORT WELFARE COMMITTEES The prime objective is to endeavour to ensure that both the serving (including those from overseas) and retired seafarers (and/or their dependents) are receiving the highest levels of welfare within the resources available. In undertaking this objective the committee should examine the needs of seafarers taking into account any relevant issues within the locality of their area and keep in mind that that duplication of effort is often wasteful. Capital Grant Applications (see appendix attached) All organisations making grants welcome, and indeed may require, the views of the local Port Welfare Committee on proposals for the opening, closing or major refurbishment of any seafarers' facility within the area and for the provision of additional or replacement vehicles. The recommendations and/or comments of the committees will be forwarded to the appropriate potential donor/s. Additionally committees should monitor the progress of any application and subsequent work until completion. Member organisations are encouraged to raise, at an early time, any proposal for seeking a capital grant from a nautical charity either within their reports, or as separate agenda items. They should also make every attempt to attend any PWC meeting at which their application will be discussed in order that they can answer any questions or note suggestions. Member Organisations Reports to the Committee Organisations are particularly encouraged to draw to the attention of the PWC, ideally by submitting a written report in advance, any issues that they consider may have local, national or international significance. Such reports will be attached to the Agenda in order that other members may consider and/or make recommendations. In the absence of a written report members shall be encouraged to verbally report matters of interest. All Committees will be invited to comment annually on the proposed Objectives of the Board for the subsequent two years and to pass on, via the Secretariat, any comments. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Committee is grateful to its members who willingly give of their time to assist in achieving the provision of proper welfare services to seafarers and their families in and around their port/s.

9


Annex 1. Local Case Study 1 Handelsflådens Velfærdsråd (Swedish Government Seamen’s Service) The importance of local welfare committees The Swedish HKF is a Government run organization with the purpose to supply the seafarers with cultural, leisure and information services. The HKF serves the seafarers at home as well as abroad. Foreign seafarers visiting Sweden are also attended to. In the other Nordic countries, the HKF sister organizations carry out similar services. In Sweden, we have been working through local welfare committees since the national welfare board was established in the late 1940’s. Even then it was considered very important to the benefit of the seafarers, to establish close ties with local circles, which could contribute to well functioning welfare services. Thus, today we have more than 50 years’ experience of how important these local committees are. Therefore it’s easy for me to recommend the establishment of such co-operation bodies. Moreover, these committees are among the most important instruments in order to fulfil the ILO Welfare Convention requirements. When the committees – in Sweden we call them “HKF Sections” – were most numerous in 1965, they were operating in 17 Swedish port cities. In 25 foreign ports with HKF operations, we had similar committees with local Swedish representatives, to the benefit of the crews of Swedish vessels. You could well say that these local activities were of impressive proportions. Due to structural changes within the Swedish shipping since the mid-fifties, our local committees have for many years been limited to the five most important Swedish ports, where we also have ship visiting representatives and club facilities. In these ports welfare committees have been appointed; co-operation bodies consisting of local parties interested in the fulfilment of the ILO Welfare Recommendation 173 on seafarers’ welfare at sea and in port. The purpose is to make optimal use of mutual resources to the benefit of both crewmembers of berthing vessels and the local seafarers. In this work, the committees will assist and advise those who are responsible for the seafarers’ welfare facilities of the port involved. It’s important to note, that the Swedish committees are not decision-making in matters related to economy and staff. They are rather expected to act supporting and advisory. Despite this limited scope, the informal influence over the operations is considerable. The committee board members are regularly representatives of the ship owners and the seafarers’ unions, as well as those of the municipality the port company and the seafarers’ mission. Others who may join the board are representatives of maritime schools and voluntary circles within the sphere of interest. Local HKF representatives are also board members. The mandate is unpaid, but since the board members are bound to the local sphere of interest, it’s a matter of course for them to take part on a voluntary basis. One of the most important tasks for the committees is to constitute a local co-operation body in the field of seafarers’ welfare. Thus, the committees are not primarily a HKF body. Rather they should safeguard the mutual interests. But the fact that the Swedish Government has ratified the ILO Welfare Convention, and that the HKF is the governmental body for the fulfilment of the ILO requirements, gives the HKF a natural coordinating role. One expression of this is the fact that the HKF board of directors, which is also composed of representatives of various interests, appoints the local committee board members for a three years’ term. More details about the committee work are evident from the HKF Section Guidelines, which are enclosed to the transcription of this representation. Acquaint yourselves with these guidelines, and if you don’t have a local welfare committee at home, start the preparation for one as soon as you can. I guarantee that you’ll be greatly rewarded. Torbjörn Cruth

10


Guidelines for HKF Sections These guidelines, replacing the Section Instruction of 1984, revised 1991, are valid from 1997 onwards. 1.

Within the Handelsflottans kultur- och fritidsråd (HKF – Swedish Government Seamen’s Service) there are local boards, sections, appointed by the HKF board of directors.

2.

The sections should, according to the ILO Recommendation 173 on seafarers’ welfare at sea and in port, be a co-operation body for the interested parties in the respective ports in order to use the mutual resources to the benefit of crewmembers of berthing vessels as well as local seafarers. In this work, the sections should support and advise those responsible for the welfare facilities of the respective ports.

3.

The sections should, together with the local HKF official, plan the local activities in general and constitute a channel to the local authorities and sphere of interest.

4.

Each section should consist of at least five members, appointed by the HKF board of director for a period of three years. The chairman is proposed by the section board and appointed by the HKF board. Other duties are distributed within the section board.

5.

The section board should include representatives of the ship owners’ and the seafarers’ organizations, co-operating parties in the field of welfare, the municipality, and, when suitable, voluntary organizations in the HKF sphere of interest. The local HKF official should also be included.

6.

Each section should, convened by the chairman, meet at least twice a year. One should be considered the annual meeting, with an annual report on the agenda. A meeting should also be convened if at least half the board members insist upon it. The section forms a quorum when the chairman and at least half the other board members are present. A decision is made when a majority of board members agree upon a point of view. When the number of votes are equal, the chairman has the casting vote. Within the section, a working committee may be appointed in order to deal with specific matters between the meetings.

7.

Minutes should be taken during the meeting, stating the present board members, the items on the agenda, and the decisions. After being confirmed, a copy of the minutes should be conveyed to the HKF main office.

11


Local Case Study 2 National Seafarers’ Welfare Advisory Council Australia The National Seafarers’ Welfare Advisory Council has been formed to assist seafarer welfare agencies to carry out their functions and encourage the maritime industry to support their activities by establishing inclusive Port Welfare Committees around Australia.

Port Welfare Committees General Guidelines Major objectives of a port welfare committee: x x x x x x

Identify all seafarers' needs, support and advocate for welfare agencies in providing them. Facilitate access to the range of material, spiritual and social needs sought by seafarers. Liaise with NSWAC re standards of professionalism for the provision of services and support. Facilitate and encourage local welfare agencies and personnel in gaining the expertise and professionalism needed for the contact and support with seafarers. Assist with the provision of local data which supports the research and advocacy responsibilities of NSWAC. Being prepared to anticipate and plan for change.

The Role of a Port Welfare Committee x x x x x x x

Liaison with NSWAC. Liaison with all the stakeholders. Monitoring of service provision. Research into the needs of seafarers and service to meet those needs. A point of contact for seafarers and agencies wishing to assist them. Assist with training and orientation of service providers who are new to the port environment. Facilitation of the creation of a better resourced and cohesive range of support services to mariners and others involved in the maritime industry.

Guidelines for the Formation of Port Welfare Committees x x x x x x x x x

Call meeting of personnel from the widest representation of the Maritime Industry. MUA, ASA, AMSA, AAPMA, DoT, Pilots, Port Authorities, AQIS, Customs, Apostleship of the SEA (AoS), The Mission to Seafarers (MtS), Invite other interested parties e.g. Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc. Invite representation from the National Seafarers Welfare Advisory Council (NSWAC). Explain the objectives of "Port Welfare Committees-. Explain the meaning of "Seafarer Welfare" Explain the role of the two existing welfare bodies, "AoS" and "MtS". Funding. Appoint Chairman, Secretary, etc. Fix date for next meeting.

Port Welfare Committees have been established in the following ports Bell Bay Burnie MacKay Darwin Sydney

Melbourne Dampier Port Hedland Adelaide Geelong Hastings

12


Annex 2 ICSW Presentation to Venice Port Welfare Committee Seminar 25 November 2005 Slide 1 SHARING THE LOAD Venice Seafarers’ Support Network/Group/Committee Slide 2 WHY? x x x x x x

Sharing the load – welfare organisations cannot do it all Meeting the need – from basic ship visiting and seafarer support to handling major incidents (injury, death, sinking, abandonment – Kaw Kab) Ensuring continuity of services Coordination of services – avoid duplication Optimisation of services – ship visiting, centres, facilities and services delivered in the right place, at the right time, safely and cost effectively. All stakeholders have a say.

Slide 3 WHO x x x

Must be in – Welfare organisations, Port Authority, Unions, Ship owners. Should be in – Municipality, Government representatives, Police, Medical Services. Could be in – Any organisation with an interest in the care of seafarers or that might be called on in event of an emergency.

Slide 4 BENEFITS To Port Authority: x Safety – control of seafarers so they transit to/from the ship in the right place, wearing the right clothes, at the right times. x ISPS – liaison with ship visitors ensures compliance with ISPS and communication of its importance to seafarers. x Forward planning – input into location of facilities /services, especially in new/developing ports. x Continuity – if there are no welfare services seafarers will be obliged to wander around/through the port. x Good relations – between seafarers and port workers as they share facilities. Slide 5 BENEFITS Cnt… To Welfare Agencies:

1


x x x x

Shares the load - Collective ‘ownership’ for the provision and maintenance of facilities and services for seafarers. Access to port & ships – liaison with port authority to ensure compliance with ISPS Forward planning – provision of services in developing port areas Seafarer safety

Slide 6 BENEFITS Cnt… To Unions: x Shares the load x Liaison with other partners x Focus on primary role To Ship Owners: x Care for employees x Safety – a well cared for seafarer is a safer seafarer x Productivity - a well cared for seafarer is a more productive seafarer x Retention - a well cared for seafarer is more likely to stay with his/her employer Slide 7 WHAT DOES IT COST x x x x

Meetings – participants should try to meet formally at least twice per year. Services for Seafarers – will have to be paid for with or without the port network/group. However, in other ports the network/group has helped funding issues through port levies, tax relief, assistance with vehicles, maintenance, buildings etc. Costs are under your control and can be determined by the network/group. Benefits outweigh costs by a considerable margin.

Slide 8 PRECEDENT x x

•ILO Convention 163 & Recommendation 173 •Other Countries/Ports: ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾

Australia Ivory Coast Poland Romania Spain Sweden United Kingdom Etc. Etc.

Slide 9 CONCLUSIONS Can It Work?

2


Yes, as other countries and ports have proved. Does it Work? Yes, feedback from all ports that have established this structure indicates a marked improvement for seafarers and all participants. Should it happen in Venice? Why not – the cooperation between agencies is already there and only needs formalising. Will it work in Venice? Precedent strongly suggest that it will work in Venice, but ultimately it is up to YOU. Slide 10 Oh And By The Way… What is the ICSW? x

An International Charity/Umbrella organisation set up on exactly the same basis as a Port Welfare Committee / National Seafarers’ Welfare Board.

x

38 members representing all disciplines in the care of seafarers including employers, unions, welfare organisations etc…

It seems to work for us.

3


Annex 3 Port Welfare Committee Article Provided to Fairplay Ports & Harbours February 2006 KEEP YOUR REGULAR VISITORS SAFE AND MEET YOUR SECURITY REQUIREMENTS It is well understood that the modern port environment is complex, hazardous and can be extremely confusing to first time visitor. The requirements of ISPS and other regulations have necessitated stricter controls on port access and movement of people within the port area. Commercialisation of ports has led to a multiplicity of terminal operators, each with their own security and safety regulations within the overall port area. But strangely each and every port around the world invites new visitors into their domain on a daily basis. This invitation is born of necessity, ports cannot operate without these visitors and yet limited provision is made for their needs, with most being met by voluntary organisations often operating within the port, but without a formal relationship with the port authority on a local, national or international basis. These essential visitors are off course the seafarers working on the ships that provide a port’s lifeblood of cargo. Historically the relationship between a port, its visiting seafarers and the welfare agencies that support them has been informal, varying according to local conditions and the personalities involved. However in the modern climate of security, safety and efficiency it is suggested that these informal relationships, although extremely valuable and beneficial, need to be supported by a more structured relationship between port authority and seafarers welfare agencies. The authority for this structured relationship has existed for nearly 20 years and is contained in the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 163 (1987) and Recommendation 173 (1987) and is called the Port Welfare Committee (PWC) A Port Welfare Committee is simply a forum where all those with an interest in the safety, care and security of seafarers can communicate, cooperate and coordinate activities current and future to the benefits of all involved. Reasons for forming a PWC include: x x x x x x

Sharing the load – welfare organisations cannot do it all Meeting the need – from basic ship visiting and seafarer support to handling major incidents (injury, death, sinking, abandonment) Ensuring continuity of services Coordination of services – avoid duplication Optimisation of services – ship visiting, centres, facilities and services delivered in the right place, at the right time, safely and cost effectively. All stakeholders have a say.

Organisations that must be included are welfare organisations, Port Authorities, Unions and Ship owners. Organisations that should be involved include municipal authorities in which ports are located, government representatives, police and medical Services. In addition, any organisation with an interest in the care of seafarers or that might be called on in event of an emergency could also be involved. It is well understood that any proposal to add to the plethora of committees and meetings already taking place in the port environment must be supported by tangible benefits, which may be summarised as follows: Benefits to Port Authority x

Safety – control of seafarers so they transit to/from the ship in the right place, wearing the right clothes, at the right times.

1


x x x x

ISPS – liaison with ship visitors ensures compliance with ISPS and communication of its importance to seafarers. Forward planning – input into location of facilities /services, especially in new/developing ports. Continuity – if there are no welfare services seafarers will be obliged to wander around/through the port. Good relations – between seafarers and port workers as they share facilities.

Benefits to Welfare Agencies x x x x

Shares the load - Collective ‘ownership’ for the provision and maintenance of facilities and services for seafarers. Access to port & ships – liaison with port authority to ensure compliance with ISPS Forward planning – provision of services in developing port areas Seafarer safety

Benefits to Unions: x x x

Shares the load Liaison with other partners Focus on primary role

Benefits to Ship Owners: x x x x x

Care for employees Safety – a well cared for seafarer is a safer seafarer Productivity - a well cared for seafarer is a more productive seafarer Retention - a well cared for seafarer is more likely to stay with his/her employer Building good relationships highlighting ship owner credibility

The cost of all these benefits is minimal, formal meetings should take place at least twice per year; however participants will inevitable meet informally during the course of their daily work, re-enforcing good working relationships. The services for seafarers will have to be paid for with or without the PWC. However, in other ports the network/group has helped funding issues through port levies, tax relief, assistance with vehicles, maintenance, buildings etc. The costs are under the control of the participants and can be determined by the PWC. Previous and current experience shows that benefits outweigh costs by a considerable margin. Aside from the authority laid down in ILO Convention 163 there is considerable precedent for Port Welfare Committee’s globally. Committees have been formed in a wide variety of locations including: Australia Ivory Coast Poland Romania Spain Sweden

Mexico Honduras Costa Rica Panama Ecuador Russia

Venezuela Guyana Surinam Colombia Ghana United Kingdom

This list is not exhaustive and is growing rapidly. India is the latest country to embrace the concept following the highly successful Seafarers’ Welfare Seminar held in Chennai during November 2005 under the umbrella of the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare. So in conclusion: Does the Port Welfare Committee concept work? Yes, as countries and ports have proved all over the world.

2


Is there evidence that PWC’s work in practice? Yes, feedback from all ports that have established this structure indicates a marked improvement for seafarers and all participants. Should it happen in your port? Why not – it is likely that informal cooperation between agencies already exists in your port and only needs formalising. Will it work in your port? Precedent strongly suggests that it will work, but ultimately it is up to YOU. Note to the author Andrew Elliott has held the position of Operations Manager/Charity Secretary to the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare for the past seven years following a career in the British Royal Navy. The International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare (ICSW) is an international umbrella organisation and UK registered Charity set up to promote the relief of need, hardship or distress amongst seafarers of all nationalities, races, colours and creeds’. The ICSW is configured on exactly the same basis as a Port Welfare Committee / National Seafarers’ Welfare Board, with 38 member organisations representing all disciplines in the care of seafarers including employers, unions, welfare organisations etc - it seems to work for us. In response to ISPS the UK Merchant Navy Welfare Board (an ICSW member) has developed a Ship Visitor training course accredited by the Marine Society. This course is being trialled for international application by the ICSW. In addition, the ICSW has published a guide for the practical implementation of ILO Convention 163 and Recommendation 173 in English, French, Italian, Russian & Spanish. The organisation has also published a practical guide to setting up Port Welfare Committees and National Seafarers’ Welfare Boards, which includes local case studies. Both documents can be requested from: The International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare 2nd Floor, Forsyth House 77 Clarendon Road Watford, WD171DS Hertfordshire United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 1923 222653; Fax: +44 (0) 1923 222663 E-mail: icsw@icsw.org.uk; Web: www.seafarerswelfare.org

3


PORT WELFARE COMMITTEE GUIDELINE