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Collective Bargaining Agreement


Tue, Dec 28th, 2010
Posted in Sports



In 1993, the National Football League adopted the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which has led to labor peace that other sports leagues have been unable to imagine. The current CBA has led the way for the astronomical salaries the players receive, but it has also allowed the NFL to be the most stable and profitable major sport. Since the CBAs inception, every other major sport has had some kind of strike or lock-out: Major League Baseball 1994-beginning 1995; National Basketball Association locked out 1998-1999 season; and National Hockey League 2004-2005. Times, however, are changing. The NFL is inching closer to a lockout of the 2011 football season. Here's why:

The CBA has been amended twice since inception, 1998 and 2006. Both amendments allocated more money to players and less money to the owners. In 2006, the NFLPA (union) negotiated a huge 60 percent before expenses piece of the pie. To the team owners' detriment, they agreed to accept the 2006 amendment with very little argument. The amendment was supposed to take the NFL through the 2012 season, but just two years after it was signed, the owners exercised their right to opt out two years early. Bringing us here, after the current season's calendar year ends, March 4, 2011. If there is no new agreement, the NFL team owners will lock out the players.

Obviously, owners and player representatives are working hard to see that a lock out doesn't happen. The reason the NFL has enjoyed such an advantage over the other major sports in popularity is labor peace. Baseball began to be dethroned as America's pastime after a work stoppage in 1981. In 1987, the NFL players went on strike and it cost them about 20 percent of their TV viewers. It is not unlikely the NFL could see an even bigger drop in popularity if the players and owners do not agree on a new CBA.

Aside from the money, the negotiations also include the season schedule. The league is considering going to an 18 -game season. The league is very adamant about dropping two of the meaningless pre-season games and making them count. Changing the schedule will benefit season ticket holders because pre-season games are priced the same as regular season games. Players will also benefit as teams would be allowed more roster spots, therefore, adding additional jobs. The negotiations are stalled on this front because of the added injury factor in an already long season.

Owners and player representatives will meet several times before the deadline. Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, has said he expects a new CBA to be instated long before the deadline. Players are not so sure and have been told to save some of their money for next year in case of a lockout. If something is not agreed upon before next fall, we are sure to have a LONG winter.

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