The Board of Pilot Commissioners for Harris County Ports, comprised of the members of the Port of Houston Authority Commission, today voted 5-1-1, with Dean Corgey abstaining and Theldon Branch opposed, to provisionally approve the pilots' requested 3.5 percent rate increase. The provisional approval is based on additional negotiations that result in “appropriate tariff revision” and a revision of the guidelines for the number of pilots required for safe maneuvering of vessels. The two sides have a March 3 deadline to reach an agreed resolution. Listen (16:13)
Chair Janiece Longoria first thanked the pilots and the industry representatives for the submissions provided to the commission since the hearing was first opened at the previous meeting, but she said she is disappointed that the decision is left up to the board.
“No decision is ever an easy one,” she said. “It would have been our preference for industry and the pilots to work together and to come up with an agreed resolution. “
“I think by making it provisional you are basically putting industry at a disadvantage," said Branch.
“I think that was a good result,” said Nathan Wesely, president of the West Gulf Maritime Association. “It’s a good compromise and will allow us to reform the tariff the way really industry wanted to do so.”
“We’re glad to hear her opinions and we’re ready to go back and work with all parties involved,” said Captain Robert Thompson, presiding officer of the Houston Pilots.
Tom Kornegay, a former executive director of the port, has been retained by the pilot commission to assist in the negotiations.
On Monday, the WGMA provided a timeline and recap related to the pilots’ request. Click Here
The PHA Commission also met today. For that report Click Here