CFL, CFL Players’ Association reach agreement on new contract

The tentative deal replaces a five-year contract that was set to expire May 18

New CFL balls are photographed at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium in Winnipeg Thursday, May 24, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

There’s labour peace in the CFL.

The league and CFL Players’ Association have come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The tentative deal replaces a five-year contract that was set to expire Saturday.

Details of the agreement weren’t immediately available, but a CFL official said it’s a multi-year deal.

The contact is pending ratification by the players and approval from the league’s board of governors. The CFL could give its approval as early as Wednesday at a previously scheduled meeting of its board.

Getting it ratified by the players will take longer. That’s because the union must first present the deal to team reps, which will happen Wednesday. Then, it will be forwarded to the players.

READ MORE: Veteran CFL quarterback Ricky Ray calls it a career after 17 seasons

The tentative agreement comes with CFL training camps slated to open Sunday. The deal was reached following two straight days of marathon bargaining.

The two sides met into the night Monday, got a head start on talks early Tuesday morning and continued talking until early Wednesday morning. The latest round of bargaining began Sunday night and Tuesday’s session was the final scheduled face-to-face session prior to the end of the current deal.

The situation didn’t look good last week when union executive director Brian Ramsay emerged from three days of talks saying the two sides weren’t ”necessarily where we need to be right now,” in order to reach a settlement.

The league and players were negotiating monetary items, which is always a potentially contentious discussion. Last week, there was persistent talk they remained far apart on many financial fronts.

That presented a rather bleak scenario of a partial players’ strike at the start of training camp if a new deal couldn’t be reached by Saturday. Ramsay said last week players with the B.C. Lions, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Montreal Alouettes wouldn’t report to the start of their respective camps without a deal

That’s because they’d be in a legal strike position and had been instructed by the union not to show up.

Players on CFL teams in Alberta (Edmonton and Calgary) and Ontario (Ottawa, Toronto and Hamilton) had been told to report to camp because Ramsay said they won’t be in a legal strike position until May 23. That’s when the union would’ve been in a position to orchestrate a full work stoppage.

However, Ramsay continually stated the union’s top priority was securing a fair and equitable deal with the CFL. News of the agreement brought mixed reaction on social media.

“Nice! Now let’s play some Football!!!,” tweeted TSN’s Matt Dunigan, a former CFL quarterback and head coach.

“My sentiment exactly!…,” responded Montreal offensive lineman Tony Washington.

But Hamilton receiver Shamawd Chambers tweeted, “Lol ??????? can’t wait to hear this.”

Washington responded, “Lmao you got that feeling to huh?”

That solicited a response from John Bowman, the veteran Montreal Alouettes defensive lineman who participated on the CFLPA’s bargaining committed.

“So y’all don’t think we did the best we could? Y’all think we just laid down?,” he tweeted.

Washington countered by saying he’d direct message Bowman.

Later, Bowman tweeted: “… like you I was skeptical. But I can tell you being in that room this yr we had to fight for everything. And no matter what you never get everything you want and ppl are never satisfied lol that’s life.”

Contract talks in 2014 between the CFL and CFLPA were testy. Negotiations broke down several times and there was even a threat of a strike before players ultimately reported to camp and both sides hammered out a five-year agreement.

CFL players have gone on strike once, in 1974, but the situation was settled prior to the start of the regular season.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ellis Ross (left), BC Liberal party, celebrated with his wife, Tracey after being named the preliminary winner of the 2020 snap provincial election. (Cameron Ehl photo)
Ross named preliminary winner of snap election

BC Liberals’ Ellis Ross named the re-elected MLA for Skeena riding

Voting has officially closed throughout B.C. for the 2020 snap provincial election. (Clare Rayment)
Map of Skeena polling stations

Watch the updates on the map below as polling stations are counted throughout Skeena riding

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read