CFL, CFLPA wrap up 16-hour CBA negotiation session, will hold ‘unscheduled’ meetings ahead of Saturday deadline

Courtesy: CFLPA

The Canadian Football League and its Players’ Association have concluded a monster 16-hour long negotiation session, but have not yet come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The current CBA is set to expire in less than 24 hours, with the deadline set at midnight on Saturday, May 14. Training camps are scheduled to open around the league on Sunday, May 15, with players reporting for physicals tomorrow.

According to a report from TSN’s Farhan Lalji, the league and the union will meet again ahead of the expiration deadline for an unanticipated negotiation session, hoping to force through a last-minute deal.

“The two sides will meet again tomorrow afternoon. This is an unscheduled meeting as this session was originally scheduled for 3 days. Progress was made tonight but they still have some work to do & [obviously] no time to delay.”

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.

Following two additional days of negotiations, the bargaining teams worked into the night Friday to hammer out a deal, but have not yet been successful.

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.