Payday for Ferry Employees


Kitsap Sun's Ed Friedrich, in his new commuter blog, notes what the union scale is for the employees of Washington State Ferries. I've run a few more numbers below. By contrast, a schoolteacher in Washington with a Master's degree and 6 years of experience makes $42,000, and Washington State Troopers start at $44,900.

Ticket Sellers: $45,000

Job Description: Ticket sellers are the first point of contact with customers. Their responsibilities include collecting, reconciling, and reporting revenue in accordance with rate schedules, revenue control procedures, and the Office of Financial Management (OFM) guidelines. Sellers issue and redeem tickets and passes, and provide customer information alerts, maps, and local community information for the route they serve. They are responsible for security in accordance with WSF policies and work closely with Washington State Patrol.

Ordinary Seaman (OS): $42,000

Job Description: As directed by deck officers, OS’s clean and supply restrooms, gear lockers and passenger cabins. They solve or refer passenger problems to the Mate, maintain cleanliness on the decks, and are responsible for WSF security in accordance with WSF policies.

Second Mate: $63,000

Job Description: The Second Mate position is required on the Jumbo/Jumbo Mark II Class vessels due to their size. Under direction of the Chief Mate, the Second Mate supervises deck crew members in vessel operation, cleaning and maintenance.

Chief Mate: $69,000

Job Description: Chief Mates serve as second in command and in the event the master is incapacitated, they assume command. Chief Mates supervise deck crew, assume charge of the car deck under the Master during loading and unloading, and stand watch as Officer in Charge on the bridge during normal operations.

Master: $86,000 ("Relief Master": $102,000)

Job Description: The individuals who work in the capacity of Master or Captain aboard Washington State Ferries are ultimately responsible for the safety and security of the vessel, passengers and crew. They navigate the vessel with due regard for weather conditions, effects of tide, current, marine traffic and render aid to other vessels in distress according to maritime law.

A Mate must work 360 days to qualify for Master and must have a Pilot’s endorsement. This endorsement requires applicants to reproduce from memory all major route characteristics (navigation charts) covering all WSF routes. It can take ten years as a Mate prior to working as a Master before being assigned a permanent position.

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