CFL Players’ Association criticizes league’s stance on negotiations

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Negotiations between the Canadian Football League and the CFL Players’ Association over a new collective agreement have hit a wall and time is running out as the current agreement expires on May 14.

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CFTPA leaders highlighted several major concerns they have with ongoing negotiations in a memo distributed to members Thursday evening. The memo says the CFL wants a 10-year CBA with no salary cap increases, the elimination of the Canadian to U.S. veteran ratio and a reduction in Canadian players on the roster, and a revenue-sharing program that, according to the LCF, will. likely to show no significant growth until TSN’s television contract is renewed in five years.

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The AP also states that “although earlier discussions on guaranteed contracts have taken place, the CFL has now withdrawn the AP’s proposal to allow players to negotiate guaranteed contracts” and that the CFL demands a return to practices padded, but refuses to support an AP proposal. for medical coverage of these on-field injuries.

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The AP also said “the league wants complete discretion on practice time,” which could create uncertainty for members.

The specter of a strike was also raised in the memo, and with it another serious point of contention responsible for the breakdown of talks on Thursday.

“While we have been able to find common ground on a number of issues to date, our earlier scheduling issues are now surfacing,” the memo reads. “On Monday, May 2, we asked the CFL to commit to not requiring players to arrive the day before training camp begins if a strike is imminent. They refused our request.

“Currently, the league insists that even if a strike is imminent, players must travel from home for a single day before the start of training camp. The league refuses to provide the cost of returning players home.

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“The league has threatened our association with legal action if we tell you that a strike is imminent and that we do not go to training camp. Also, the league put an ultimatum to accept their stance on players showing up to camp or they would refuse to continue negotiations with us. Today’s session ended before noon because we refused their offer.

In a membership vote last week, the players returned a 95% strike mandate. However, it does not ensure a stoppage of work since it was only a question of procedure.

The memo also says the league has “slowed down the pace of negotiations.” The two sides had worked late into Wednesday night in a marathon negotiation session in Toronto and met on Thursday as mentioned above.

The CFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the CFLPA allegations made in the memo.

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