By The Canadian Press
TORONTO – The CFL and its players will conduct their ratification votes on a new labour deal later this week.
Independent league sources requesting anonymity say the players will vote Thursday while the CFL’s board of governors will do so Friday.
The CFL and CFL Players’ Association agreed to a five-year contract Saturday. However, many players have spoken out against the new deal which calls for a $5-million salary cap, well below the CFLPA’s opening demand of $6.24 million.
The CFL also got a major concession from the union on the gross revenue formula that would trigger the renegotiation of the cap or entire collective agreement.
The players, who initially wanted the CBA to include revenue sharing, had called for the cap or entire agreement to be renegotiated if league revenues increased by more than $18 million â€” excluding the Grey Cup â€” in the third year of the deal. The CFL wanted that figure to be $27 million and the union ultimately agreed.
The union did get elimination of the option year on CFL contracts, excluding rookies. Also, the players’ practice day for the most part remains at 4.5 hours daily but can be increased to a maximum of six hours, and teams will hold just one padded practice a week during the season.
A majority of players â€” 50 per cent plus one â€” on six of the nine CFL teams must support the deal for it to be accepted. If it’s rejected, that doesn’t necessarily mean the players will go on strike.
All clubs have held strike votes with most players reportedly in favour of going out. But TSN reports if the deal is turned down the CFLPA will notify the CFL and try kick-starting contract talks.