CFL, CFLPA to continue negotiations into the night with one day remaining until expiry of CBA

The Canadian Football League and its Players’ Association are continuing their negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement into the night, with one day remaining until potential strike action.

In an internal CFLPA memo shared by TSN’s Farhan Lalji, the union reported some progress following more than 14 hours of talks on Friday but did not yet have a deal in place as players begin to report to their respective cities.

“We are continuing to meet with the league this evening. We made a little progress today, and are continuing our negotiations into the night to try and find an agreement.

Kowing that medicals and reporting are being done tomorrow, we will plan a conference call with your player reps to update the plan for Sunday the 15th of May. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your team player representatives and expect further updates from your bargaining committee.”

The CFL and CFLPA have been involved in heated negotiations since Wednesday when the league tabled a new proposed collective bargaining agreement. That offer was not yet to the players’ satisfaction, with a directive sent to members to report to training camp on time in order to place the union in a legal strike position.

The existing collective agreement between the CFL and players’ association was ratified in 2019 and amended prior to the 2021 season to help facilitate a safe return under pandemic restrictions. The deal is set to expire at midnight on Saturday, May 14, with training camps opening on Sunday, May 15.

Prior offers from the league have been met by concern and anger from the players, with the CFL proposing, among other things, a ten-year agreement without salary cap increases and the elimination of the Canadian starting ratio.

It is believed that progress has been made on those issues, but not yet enough to bring a proposal forward for a vote.

Last week, CFLPA membership voted 95 percent in favour of giving the union permission to initiate a work stoppage. That ballot was part of the standard process of collective bargaining, but the CFL now sits on the verge of a strike with the clock ticking down.