CBA 2014

Talks have begun, this is good news

Scott Mitchell ?@SUNMitchell 22m
CFLPA and #CFL exchanged first CBA proposals earlier this month and it's expected a number of players will fly into #YYC for March 6-7 talks

[url=http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/02/27/cflpa-owners-set-to-huddle-up-in-search-of-new-cba]http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/02/27/cf ... of-new-cba[/url]

[b]With the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire the day before training camps open in May, the CFLPA and CFL owners are set to begin negotiations in earnest March 6-7 at the Delta Calgary Airport Hotel.

The two sides exchanged initial proposals earlier this month.

“I don’t think it was pleasing to anyone,? said CFL veteran Keon Raymond, who is one of two Calgary Stampeders player reps, along with fullback Rob Cote.

When the two sides meet face to face next week, Raymond is expecting opinions to be aired.

“I think we expect it to be a little rowdy,? Raymond said.

“(The owners) are going to come with a lot of minimal, but it’s the beginning of the negotiations, and when you have a lot of money on the line and guys fighting for something, it’s going to be tough.

“We definitely have to stick together and be unified as one.?

The most contentious issue will be how the monetary pie is divvied up, as it’s expected the CFLPA will want to see the league’s $4.4-million salary cap increase significantly.

A new five-year TV rights deal with TSN and RDS worth a reported $43-million was signed last year, which is worth approximately 21/2 times more than the previous deal and is expected to more than double what CFL franchises pull in on the TV side to $4.3 million.

“It factors in a ton, knowing it’s almost two or three times more than what it was the last time,? Raymond said.

“We feel like the league is doing a great job and, obviously, there’s no league without the players, but the fans are the most important thing, as well. This is entertainment, and I think we’ve given them a great product to put on the field.

“You definitely want to be compensated for the things that you put your body into.

“I don’t know if the owners really understand the type of physical punishment we put our bodies through.?

New stadiums and increasing viewership and interest in the CFL around the country have the players asking, what about us?

“It just kind of seems like everybody is kind of reaping the benefits except for the guys that are putting in the work,? Raymond said.

The last time around, a new CBA was signed on the final day before training camps opened in 2010.[/b]

I hope both sides realize they have a good thing going and are willing to compromise. It must be advantageous for both the players and the owners. If one side wants more than they are willing to give up they will be shooting themselves in the foot. The CFL has come a long way from just a short time ago. It is now a strong league and nobody is talking about it folding. Let's get'r done!

:cowboy:

Not off to a great start!

Drew Edwards ?@scratchingpost 1h
Cue the ominous music. RT @SUNMitchell: I'm told #CFL CBA talks were cancelled today because sides were "too far apart" after Day 1.

Scott Mitchell is the beat writer for the Calgary Sun
The talks are in Calgary for today and tomorrow

Scott Mitchell ?@SUNMitchell 2m
Back in 2010, deal got done in final hours before camps opened. Nothing to fret about just yet but cancelling talks is never good. #CFL

Scott Mitchell ?@SUNMitchell 4m
All parties involved with #CFL CBA talks have gone silent this afternoon and I've been told league won't be commenting on negotiations.

This article provides the most detail I've seen so far and it doesn't paint a very promising picture.

[url=http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/cfl/cfl-pa-at-impasse-in-cba-negotiation-talks/]http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/cfl/cf ... ion-talks/[/url]

Does anyone know what the 2014 salary cap will be ?

With the TSN deal being $40 million a year, could we see the salary cap in double digits for the first
time in CFL history ?

The players feel that they made sacrifices to keep the league afloat in previous CBA negotiations. Now is catch-up time for them. They see new tv money, new stadiums, a new team, league stability, who can blame them?

It will be interesting to see who blinks first.

An Argo-Cat fan

It's all part of the CBA negotiations (hopefully) happening in Calgary. Right now, neither side's talking to the public. Unfortunately, no idea if they're talking to each other either.

Note that there's already at least one thread on the CBA here.

If you read the sportsnet article posted by ottawacat you will see that they aren't talking to each other, having cancelled meetings scheduled for next week. It is no surprise that they are releasing little information to the media which is often the case when two sides are negotiating.

It really sounds like the league came to negotiations poorly prepared and not ready to offer more than a few crumbs. They appear to be playing hardball with the players in what they are willing to offer, in spite of the fact that there is a new, lucrative TV deal coming into place this season. Time for the owners (and I know a few have not always made a pile of money from the teams) to share the wealth with the players who it seemed gave up some things in the last deal for the benefit of the league. Hard to believe when the league is healthy and doing well, that they are not willing to be more generous with the players who put the product on the field and provide the entertainment. Main point of contention is profit sharing which was given up last time and the players want re-instated.

A deal will get done as both sides know they cannot hold up the season.
The CFL could not survive with an extended work stoppage.

[url=http://www.torontosun.com/2014/03/13/cflpa-ready-to-put-up-a-good-fight-in-new-cba-talks-with-league]http://www.torontosun.com/2014/03/13/cf ... ith-league[/url]

From the Toronto Sun...03/14/14....According to the article,as long as both sides are talking,the season should open up on time.Let's hope so,fingers crossed !!!!

The union should ask for a bigger slice of the pie, but should also remember that if the CFL folds, 99% of its players would have nowhere else to play professional football and get paid for it. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Anyone who thinks 20 percent of revenues and 46 000 salaries for grown College educated men is fair, really well is not being.... fair.

The players aren't looking for an explosion of salaries, they are looking to increase their pay around 20 percent on average. Basically they are looking for about 1 million or about half the increase the owners got from the TSN contract. They deserve it.

This from the BC Lion 5th QTR

[b]There’s been a multitude of player movement with every team in the league during the winter except the Lions, but none of it will matter if the biggest issue of the off-season isn’t resolved prior to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement May 31. Talks on a new deal haven’t started well.

How not well? According to one player after talking to his team rep, the CFL Players Association made a 60-point proposal outlining their platform. Not one item was acceptable to owners. On the surface, that shouldn’t probably come as a surprise, as no good negotiation takes place with one side caving in on the first day of serious talks last week. It’s still not a good sign, and it should only be a few weeks now before players are told to gear for a labour disruption, as was the case a month before the last contract was ratified.

A major platform in the union proposal was a return to a percentage of defined gross revenues, which the players amazingly gave up last time and want back. Good luck there. The players were crazy to give it up and can only look at themselves collectively in the mirror for doing so. Owners have demands too of course. One of them is to mandate a seven-hour workday for some portions of the practice week, which won’t be a problem for the players because most of them are putting in that kind of time already. But that’s all part of the give-and-take. In a Sportsnet.ca article this week, talks were described as being at an impasse even though they’ve barely started.

Nobody takes early CFL bargaining too seriously, seeing as though the last work stoppage was a 12-day strike in 1974 over pre-season pay. But there’s more on the line this time thanks to the new TSN deal, which doesn’t pay the owners a penny if there are no games, and players have every right to get their added share. The key, as always, is realizing at what point in the bargaining process they’ve gained enough, because despite all the gains made the last few years, the league is not so stable as to withstand a work stoppage. Summer and fall will go on as scheduled without the CFL.[/b]

Mike Morreale, Leader of the CFLPA

http://postmediaprovince.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/m__prv112899cfl_final_15_23098380.jpg?w=791&h=699

[quote="ottawacat"]This article provides the most detail I've seen so far and it doesn't paint a very promising picture.

[url=http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/cfl/cfl-pa-at-impasse-in-cba-negotiation-talks/]http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/cfl/cf ... ion-talks/[/url][/quote

Got to say I'm with the players. They deserve a much bigger piece of the pie than they've been getting, and making them partners through revenue sharing is only fair. The league must come to its senses and not be so greedy.

Key figures in this are getting grumpy:

[url=http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/cfl/cohon-threatens-to-fine-cfl-teams-on-cba-talks/]http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/cfl/co ... cba-talks/[/url]

Is Morreale about to get voted out as head of the CFLPA?

[url=http://www.thespec.com/sports-story/4436184-cfl-power-struggle-at-top-of-cflpa/]http://www.thespec.com/sports-story/443 ... -of-cflpa/[/url]
With contentious negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement on the horizon, there is a major power battle taking place among the leadership of the Canadian Football League Players' Association.

The CFLPA has been meeting in Las Vegas since Wednesday and a vote is scheduled Friday that could see the ouster of current president and former Hamilton Tiger-Cat Mike Morreale.

These comments may be a way too early - and hopefully all will work out before a work stoppage - but here's my two cents.

Without the likes of men like David Braley and Bob Young the CFL may have died years ago or would look considerably different than it does today. Yeah, yeah.... rich guys with expensive toys can afford it.... I've heard that.

The trick is allowing owners to get back some of those losses - even though the tax implications of a business loss can look pretty good on the balance sheet - against what the players deserve and "gave up" themselves to get the league to where it is today. Side note: What I read lately about what Mr. Braley may get in the sale of the B.C. Lions doesn't help the owners negotiations.

Let's hope things can be worked out and the "pie" fairly distributed. Remember if the T.V. money - and that's what is being argued here - dries up or is reduced the next time of renewal I don't think the players will be lining up to take a similar pay cut.

I'd like to see the players get a fair share - and even a bit more to compensate them for past allowances. But maybe some of that money can be deferred in the way of improved pension payments and benefits.

Finally, when you "take sides" in this don't forget to ask yourself "what extra money am I willing to pay for my tickets" because don't kid yourself we're in this too!!!

Here is the latest interview with Cohon

[url=http://www.winnipegsun.com/2014/03/26/commissioner-mark-cohon-that-cfl-coffers-are-not-as-full-as-cflpa-thinks]http://www.winnipegsun.com/2014/03/26/c ... lpa-thinks[/url]

[b]CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said he didn’t want to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement in public.

Then he proceeded to do a bit of just that.

Asked about talks with the players union that have broken down over the concept of revenue sharing, Cohon said league coffers aren’t as overflowing with cash as the players might think they are.

And he held up the debt-strapped Blue Bombers, just awarded the 2015 Grey Cup game, as his example.

“We talk about new revenues coming from television,? Cohon began. “But the fact of the matter is the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have to write a cheque every year for $4 million to $4.5 million back to the province for the support on this stadium. It’s not the revenues. It’s about profitability.?

Actually, the Bombers’ commitments are $1 million to the province each of the next three years, $3.5 million to the bank.

But Cohon’s point was clear: the league’s new TV deal, which more than doubles broadcast revenue to more than $40 million per season, shouldn’t get the players too excited.

A players association with a long history of paying for the league’s mistakes — currently earning an average salary of some $80,000 — sees this as the time to get its fair share.

But Cohon says much of that money is to be poured into growing the Toronto market and building or renovating other stadiums, including one for the new team in Ottawa.

“It’s really important our players understand, our fans understand, this league is getting stronger, but we still have a ways to go,? Cohon said. “It cost money to do these things. But it’s all about sustaining profitability over time and we’re not 100 percent there, yet.?

The stumbling block in talks is the league’s refusal to even entertain the idea of sharing a specific percentage of revenue with the players.

Instead, the league wants to set a hard cap.

“I’m not going to comment on our position on revenue sharing, on what the salary cap’s going to be in the future,? Cohon said. “We’re going to negotiate a fair deal. I have a huge amount of respect for our players.

“We’re very transparent with our players. I’ve sat down and taken them through the state of the league and where we are, financially.?

The players association begs to differ, saying they can’t trust the numbers.

Most teams are privately held, and even community-owned Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Edmonton only release certain financial information.

“Therein lies the issue,? CFLPA Mike Morreale told the Winnipeg Sun in a recent interview. “How do we know this is even the proper information? We’d like to make it an easy mathematical equation, but unless you know all the numbers it’s tough to do that.?

The players say they’re more united than ever, raising the possibility of a delayed start, or an interruption, to the season, if the league doesn’t budge in its position.

Cohon didn’t slam the door on the possibility.

“I definitely hope not,? he said. “We want to work against the start of the season. We want to play football.?

The current CBA expires just before training camps open at the end of May.

Morreale says players would be willing to start the season under the old deal if progress was being made.[/b]