CFLPA sends survey to members with questions based on detailed recent discussions with the CFL

Photo courtesy: CFLPA

The Canadian Football League Players’ Association has sent 10 critical questions to its membership.

The inquiries are based on detailed discussions with the CFL this week regarding a shortened 2020 season and safe hub city model amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It started with an update for the athletes:

To All CFLPA Players

Gentlemen, based on our current discussions regarding a potential 2020 season, please see the questions below posed to you, the membership, to assist your bargaining committee and player representatives as we continue to negotiate with the CFL. The purpose of this line of questioning is to allow our group the ability to fully understand the current position of the membership during these challenging times. These questions are NOT reflective of the position the Players’ Association is taking on your behalf.

The CFL has again approached the federal government for financial assistance for expenses related to a potential 2020 season. Knowing this assistance is a requirement for a 2020 season to happen, the CFLPA has encouraged government to support this proposal. We began more detailed discussions with the CFL this week regarding a shortened season and a safe Hub city model. To those ends, we are working towards a deadline of July 24th.

Please direct any specific questions to your elected player reps or our CFLPA office.

Eight of the 10 questions had yes or no answer options, numbers two and 10 were open to varying answers.

  1. Please confirm your 2019 membership status. Did you receive a game cheque in 2019?

2. Please identify your salary range for the 2020 season.

3. Would you play a shortened 6-game season for a pro-rated salary (33% of base and 33% of performance bonuses)?

4. Would you be willing to play a shortened season that could be cancelled and only be paid up to that time of cancellation?

5. Potential surgeries from on-field injuries could be delayed due to restrictions, would you be comfortable playing knowing there may be a delay if injured?

6. Would you commit to not receiving a pension match by the employer for the 2020 season?

7. Would you commit to self-isolated quarantine for up to 15 weeks (105 days)? Contact with teammates will be limited to practice and games with no or very limited in and out privileges of the hotel.

8. Would you be able to safely self-isolate at home for 14 days prior to travelling to the Hub city?

9. Do you plan to play in a shortened season?

10. Please provide three (3) essentials you would require to attend a Hub City season in 2020.

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 on June 16 with 12 questions pertaining to the potential 2020 season amid the coronavirus crisis, which indicated the players want to play.

The CFLPA was sent the conditions the league office would want the players union to agree to for a hub city model on Saturday, July 4. Those conditions for play include an acceptable level of federal or provincial government financial support. The two sides have a deadline of July 23 to reach an agreement.
Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.