CFL Players Association essential of league stance on negotiations

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Negotiations between the Canadian Football League and the CFL Players Association on a new collective bargaining agreement have hit a wall and the clock is ticking, as the current deal expires May 14.

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CFLPA leadership outlined several major concerns they have with the current negotiations in a memo circulated to the membership on Thursday night. The memo states the CFL wants a 10-year CBA with no increase in the salary cap, elimination of the Canadian and veteran American ratio and a reduction of Canadian players on the roster, and a revenue-sharing program that they say the CFL admits will not likely show any significant growth until the TSN television contract is renewed in five years.

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The PA also states that “although earlier discussions around guaranteed contracts were held, the CFL has now removed the PA’s proposal to allow players to negotiate guaranteed contracts” and that the CFL is demanding a return to padded practices, but refuses to support a PA proposal for medical coverage of those on-field injuries.

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The PA additionally mentioned “the league wants full discretion on practice time” which might create uncertainty for the membership.

The spectre of a strike was additionally raised within the memo, and with it one other critical level of rivalry, one which was liable for a breakdown in talks on Thursday.

“Although we have been able to find common ground on a number of issues to date, our earlier timing concerns are now coming to surface,” the memo acknowledged. “On Monday the 2nd of May, we requested the CFL commit not to require that players arrive the day before the start of training camp if a strike is imminent. They refused our request.

“Presently, the league insists that even if a strike is imminent, players must travel from their homes for a single day before training camp begins. The league refuses to provide players’ costs to return to their homes.

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“The league has threatened our association with a lawsuit if we were to tell you that a strike is imminent and not travel to training camp. Furthermore, the league has put an ultimatum to accept their position on players reporting to camp, or they would refuse to continue negotiations with us. Today’s session stopped before midday as we refused their offer.”

In a membership vote final week, the gamers returned a strike mandate of 95 per cent. It doesn’t guarantee a piece stoppage, nevertheless, because it was merely a matter of process.

The memo additionally mentioned the league has “slowed the pace of bargaining.” The 2 sides had labored nicely into Wednesday night time throughout a marathon bargaining session in Toronto, and met on Thursday as aforementioned.

The CFL didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the CFLPA claims made within the memo.

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