Veteran CFL players who choose not to show up for training camp as part of the union’s ongoing labour dispute with the league could be risking thousands of dollars in money, per sources.
At issue are the so-called “report and pass” bonuses typically paid to veteran players when they come to training camp and pass their physical. While the league has said that no off-season bonus will be paid until a new collective bargaining agreement is ratified – and included language to that effect in contracts for the last two years – players may still need to be present when camps open on May 19 in order to be eligible for their money.
But sources say the contract language surrounding the report and pass provisions vary from team to team, raising the possibility of a legal challenge by the union or individual players.
CFLPA executive executive director Brian Ramsay expressed confidence that players would receive their money
“It is the position of the CFLPA and it’s membership that all players with report and pass bonuses will receive them before the season begins. Yes, we have had our legal teams analyze this issue and we are confident in our position,” Ramsay said in a statement.
We’ve requested a comment from the CFL and are awaiting their response.
The CFLPA issued a memo to all players and their agents in December 2017 stating the league was directing the nine teams not to pay off-season bonuses. As a result, the clubs are holding approximately $6 million in money owed to players.
After meeting regularly since mid-March, CFL made the decision to delay negotiations until April 29, a move the union opposed. The CFLPA countered by instructing players not to arrange travel to training camp and informed players that the association does not intend to work past May 18th unless a new CBA can first be agreed upon.
A strike vote is set for Wednesday but a number of high-profile players have already said they won’t be attending training camp. Whether that will impact their personal bottom line remains to be seen.