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CFL players report to work after rejecting tentative agreement

Source: CFL has tabled a new offer to the players that reportedly included ratification bonus
CFL football seen during the Hamilton Tiger-Cats opening day training camp at Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton, Ont., Thursday, May 19, 2022. CFL players have rejected the new collective bargaining agreement with the league. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nick Iwanyshyn

CFL players continued practising Tuesday after turning down the latest contract offer from the league.

On Monday night, the players rejected ratifying a tentative agreement that had been reached by the CFL and CFL Players’ Association.

The union had recommended acceptance of the seven-year agreement to its membership.

The CFL and CFLPA reached a tentative seven-year agreement Wednesday, four days after players with seven of the league’s nine teams went on strike.

It marked just the second work stoppage in league history and first since 1974.

Players with the Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders reported to the start of training camp May 15 because they were not then in a legal strike position due to differences in Alberta’s labour laws.

The two sides are expected to meet informally Tuesday, with a source saying the CFL had already tabled a new offer to the players that reportedly included a boost in the salary cap along with a ratification bonus.

The bonus is something that’s pretty standard in collective bargaining but it still must be collectively bargained.

But time is of the essence as the CFL exhibition schedule is slated to open Friday night.

The bonus was one reason for the players’ rejection of the tentative deal but at the crux of their decision was the CFL wanting to increase the number of Canadian starters from seven to eight.

But that would include a nationalized Canadian — an American who has spent either five years in the CFL or at least three with the same team.

In addition, three other nationalized Canadians could play up to 49 per cent of all snaps on either side of the ball.

—The Canadian Press

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