The process of Collective Bargaining with the ITF and their affiliates includes negotiations on a number of funding elements that finance industry and company-specific projects aimed at improving the quality of the seafarers it employs and their lives onboard.
Specific details on the various schemes are provided below.
IBF Seafarers’ Support (Welfare) Fund
The IBF Seafarers’ Support Fund (also known as the "Welfare Fund") was created exclusively to support the welfare of seafarers aboard vessels covered by IBF agreements.
In 2003 IMEC successfully negotiated that a proportion of JNG members’ contributions to the ITF Assistance, Welfare and Protection Fund (ITF Welfare Fund) be paid into the IBF Welfare Fund for this purpose. This is an exclusive benefit to Members of the JNG, and currently Members can claim back up to 20% of total ITF Welfare Fund payments made in the previous year.
International Maritime Training Funds (IMTF)
A number of IMEC negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) have historically contained a funding element identified as the International Maritime Training Trust (IMTT).
IMTT was the driving force behind a large number of training initiatives that have helped transform the shipping industry through a series of grants that totalled 45,000,000 USD over the 18 years of its existence. In the summer of 2016 the Trust was finally wound down and replaced by two funds that seek to continue on the same path.
The two new funds were named IMTF AMOSUP (money is paid into this fund by users of the IMEC-AMOSUP IBF CBA as invoiced by the union directly) and IMTF International (money paid into this fund by users of a number of IMEC CBAs and invoiced by the IMEC Secretariat from January 2019).
Seafarers' Employment Promotion Fund (SEPF)
All IBF agreements include a funding element which requires IMEC Members to make SEP payments of US$10 per month for every seafarer serving on an IBF registered vessel.
The purposes of the fund are to provide for either:
- funding for non-mandatory training, education, seminars, skills enhancement, advertising the attractiveness of working at sea, recruitment; or
- compensation for additional expenses incurred by employers in employing DER (developed economy ratings) compared with employing ratings from developing economy countries
Applications can be made to receive a grant of up to 90% of the money paid into the fund every year.
Applications are evaluated by a Fund Management Committee, consisting of an equal number of representatives from the ITF and IMEC.