CFL Players’ Association memo to players outlines hub city conditions from CFL

Photo courtesy: CFLPA

The CFL Players’ Association has learned the conditions the league office would want the union to agree to for a hub city model.

The membership was updated via memo from the CFLPA:

The CFL has communicated with us to begin negotiations to restart the 2020 season. They have indicated that in order to have a Hub city model for a partial season the following conditions would have to be met:

1. A CFL/CFLPA return to play protocol acceptable to Government Health Authorities
2. An acceptable level of Federal government financial support/assistance
3. An agreement on a 2020 shortened season subject to an agreement to amend the Collective Agreement for 2021 and beyond
4. This will include among other things:
5. 1. A shortened training camp
2. Pro-rated salaries
3. Reduced time between games
4. Expanded practice rosters
6. All of this must be completed by July 23, 2020
7. The League has made a number of opening proposals that will need to be negotiated, refined and clarified. There are other intricacies involved in this shortened season that we as player reps are reviewing including logistics for accommodation and travel to a “Hub City” model.

The Bargaining Committee has been working for the last three weeks on a Hub City return to play safety protocol and believe we are close to a complete document. We have communicated to the League our willingness to listen to their reasons for amending the Collective Agreement for 2021 and beyond however, the priority must be to explore the possibility of a shortened 2020 season. We told the League that three weeks to explore a new agreement was unreasonable and we would like to begin discussions to re-start the 2020 season. We are awaiting a response to our communication. We will keep you updated as information becomes available.

On Canada Day, July 1, the union received a guiding principals statement from the CFL’s player relations committee. The current collective bargaining agreement doesn’t expire until the end of the 2021 season, but there will need to be a modified set of terms to accommodate a potential shortened 2020 campaign.

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.

That questionnaire asked the membership if they would be willing to commit to a hub city model for the length of the season — without the ability to travel in and out. Currently, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg and Hamilton all have interest in hosting the CFL for a potential 2020 season.