BY NICHOLAS BASRAN
ON the verge of walking off the field, the CFL and its players reached a tentative agreement just as the clock was about to run out. A ratification vote will be held this week with the union requiring six of the league’s nine teams voting in favour of the new five-year agreement that was hammered out over last weekend.
The deal will include a $5-milion salary cap, over half a million more from last year’s $4.4 million and brings up the minimum player salary to $50,000 with an increase of $1,000 a year over the next five years.
It’s a deal that has caused many star players to take their discontent public including New Westminster native and Calgary Stampeders star Jon Cornish who took to Twitter to say, “How it works in the 21st century: Unions are dead.” Many players chimed in with similar statements, but when you compare this league to many others, it really is the owners who will always hold the better hand.
Now if the deal on the table is rejected it doesn’t necessarily mean the players will immediately turn to going on strike but instead, as TSN reports, the CFLPA will notify the CFL and attempt returning to contract talks.
When you look at what was initially proposed by the players, such as a $6.24-million salary cap, the league seems to be making out like gangbusters especially considering they also have a $210-million deal with TSN over the next five years to “help” pay salaries.
Then again, with three teams owned by their communities it seems no matter what the outcome of these labour talks, it’s the fans that end up paying.