- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 9, 2009
- 6 Comments
- CBA, CBA Discussions, Players Union
We all know the Collective Bargaining Agreement is coming close to it’s end and the MLS Players Union and league front offices are set to battle it all out. Well today we got some rough news from the Sports Business Journal (subscription based link, sign up for a free trail if you haven’t) that the players union is already talking strike if things don’t improve.
According to the report the league has already rejected the players proposal of guaranteed contracts and for the elimination of club options on players’ contracts. Those two items are said to be very key issues for the players.
Officials for Major League Soccer and the union declined comment. But sources noted that last week’s session was the first counterproposal by the league, and that there was still time for more bargaining. The MLS collective-bargaining agreement expires Jan. 31.
The counterproposal put forward by the league last week offered to raise the salary cap and address some of the union’s quality-of-life issues by increasing travel per diems and improving hotel accommodations, but the sides remain far apart on a host of issues, including the salary cap, workers’ compensation, guaranteed contracts, option-clauses in contracts and FIFA regulations.
One player-side source acknowledged that the league had offered to increase the salary cap and players’ salaries but called the proposed increases “a joke.”
No doubt the players do need increases in salaries, especially at the bottom of the pecking order. You just can’t tell me or anyone that making $14,000-$18,000 a year as a professional soccer player is really worth it and that it is enough to live with in markets like LA, Dallas, Chicago and New York.
From the sound of things the players are willing to strike because they are said to having nothing to lose here by doing so. Things are still in the early stages though so its just a lot of hardball talk going around right now between both sides. I still believe things will get worked out by the end of January when the current CBA runs out.
I think the players know the damage a strike would do to the league. More than likely the players won’t get everything that they are asking, we know that to be true of past negotiations between these two sides. I’d say they will reach some common ground before long.