While the player’s union has been very public with their assessments on the state of collective bargaining with the league, the CFL has remained largely silent during the negotiation process.
But Winnipeg Blue Bombers president Wade Miller is on the CFL’s bargaining team and offered a small glimpse into the league’s thinking after they decided to delay discussions until late April – against the wishes of the union.
“We’re going to work with the players and figure this out. We’ll get there, it’s going to take time, it’s a process, we’ll get there,” Miller told TSN radio 1290 in Winnipeg. “It’s a process and there’s players and each one of these clubs loves the CFL so we’re going to find a way to get this done. Everybody is working together to make that happen.”
Discussions officially began on March 11 and there have been four rounds of two-day talks in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
The CFLPA wanted to meet during the weeks of April 15 and 22 but the league indicated they would not be available, unilaterally deciding to halt CBA talks until April 29. The current CBA expires on May 18, ending a five-year agreement that was ratified on June 13, 2014 – nearly a month after the original deadline.
Team owners are holding approximately $6 million in off-season payments due to players, according to 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk. That, plus the pause in negotiations, has created distrust between the players and league.