CFLPA receives guiding principals statement regarding CBA from CFL office

The CFL Players’ Association has received a memo from the CFL league office regarding collective bargaining agreement discussions.

The full version:

We finally received a statement of guiding principals from the CFL along with their thoughts regarding both: a shortened 2020 season, as well as their desire to amend the final year of our collective agreement in negotiating a new longer-term deal for the future. We are presently studying this proposal and will be seeking more detail and clarifications from the CFL.

We believe that work must be done quickly to arrive at a decision no later than the last week of July. We know that this uncertainty is hard on you and your families, and we will work diligently to provide you with a recommendation for your consideration as soon as possible.

It is anticipated that you will hear many rumours over these next few days/weeks on the progress being made, but we ask that you only rely on your CFLPA and representatives’ information. If you have any questions, please speak directly with your elected team player representatives. 

The CFL regular season was scheduled to kick-off on Thursday, June 11, but commissioner Randy Ambrosie has stated the earliest the league might return to play is September. The CFLPA sent out a survey to its membership with 12 questions pertaining to the potential 2020 season amid the coronavirus crisis, which indicated the players want to play. 

On Thursday, June 11, CFLPA executive director Brian Ramsay called out Ambrosie for not receiving concrete ideas regarding a collective agreement or about opportunities to get on the field this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The league finally formally invited the union to start CBA talks on June 19.

The current CBA doesn’t expire until the end of the 2021 season, but there will need to be a modified agreement to accommodate a potential shortened 2020 campaign. According to sources, there was one meeting between June 19 and July 1 where the league actually included the players by sharing how its hub city concept might come together.

It will be intriguing to see if the amount of distrust created since Ambrosie has taken office — the union recently filed a grievance against the league — potentially hinders the process of working towards an agreement for return to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.