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CFL rejects new offer submitted by CFL Players' Association

Matthew Scianitti

6/3/2014 1:09:25 PM

In an effort to restart collective bargaining talks with the CFL, the Players Association submitted a new four-year offer to the league Monday, TSN learned Monday night. The union's new offer included reductions on several financial proposals from ones made in its previous offer made last week. But the league swiftly rejected the new numbers, pushing the players closer to considering a work stoppage.

In a memo obtained by TSN, the players financial proposals included a $5.2 million salary cap in 2014 ($4.8 million minimum) that grew to $6.0 million ($5.4 million minimum) after four seasons. Minimum salaries would start at $50,000 dollars in 2014, and grow to $53,000 by 2017.

Last week, the players offered a $5.8 million salary cap that would grow 3% annually. But the crux of the union's financial recommendations was a "Revenue Protection Clause" created to set a threshold to renegotiate the salary cap if the CFL's aggregate revenues drastically increased. In the third year of a new deal, the players would want to renegotiate the cap if league revenues increased $12 million from the previous year. In the players' newest offer, the threshold would be set at $18 million.

The union also revised pension contributions ($4,000 per player and $4,000 per club), and "Compensation for Veterans for Increase in Salary Expenditure Cap" set at $8,500 for veterans and $1,500 for rookies.

And the union maintained its desire to discuss other points, including practice times and numbers of contact practices, and salary protection and medical treatment if players are injured late in season. At the beginning of the memo the Players Association describes its offer as "more favourable."

Last week, the CFL offered a $5 million cap and a threshold to reopen discussions on the salary cap limit if league-wide revenues increased by $27 million from the previous year, also in the third season of a new CBA. Hours before the current CBA expired, commissioner Mark Cohon called it the league's "final" offer. The CFL has evidently not moved from that position, and quickly rejected the player's offer.

"[The CFL] indicated that they see no point in meeting unless we are prepared to accept their offer," reads the Players Association's memo.

"It is obvious to your Negotiating Committee that notwithstanding our effort to resolve this matter, the only possible way of convincing them that they should reconsider their position will be with a work stoppage."

The Players Association's memo closes by stating players will be advised what the union's next move is once strike ballots from Calgary and Edmonton are counted.