PLPA and NLL Still Negotiating; Lockout on the Horizon?

Photo Credit Jack Dempsey

The NLL and the Professional Lacrosse Players Association (PLPA) are currently in negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). This is something we have seen before in the NLL and other sports so many know how this kind of stuff usually works. We may see a player strike or lockout or the season will starts just like normal.

On October 19th the NLL negotiating committee and the PLPA had their sixth face to face negotiating session in Toronto. According to the PLPA things still look far from where they need to be before an agreement can be made. There are many different points on both sides that have been brought to attention and have been discussed in negotiations with the PLPA and the NLL. 

According to the PLPA press release, one of the main topics of discussion was players paying out of pocket for travel expenses and missed work, if the player has a second job, to play in games. This is a big issue that both pro leagues have to deal with. Many players pay for their own travel and do get reimbursed, sometimes. Last season there were a few west coast guys that did get a few flights reimbursed by the team if they played in the east. 

There was also discussion on the topic of player pay. According to the PLPA players per game salaries have not increased back to 2012 compensation. Another aspect of this issue is the league's increasing revenue. The NLL has denied to give the PLPA detailed information about their performance. This certainly makes it hard on the PLPA as they can't accurately measure for their proposal that players be compensated in correspondence with the leagues revenue growth over one year. 

Another piece surrounding player compensation is that the league needs to uphold the provision that players be recognized and compensated for the growth of the league. This provision has existed for many years and the league's franchise fee is now sizable enough where the payment to the players would actually be meaningful. If the NLL is to uphold this provision the players could then be able to grow along with the league.

The topic of modifying the practice player provision was a big topic of discussion as well. The PLPA has suggested that the league add another roster spot and that would really help teams out, especially if the league does add more games to the season schedule. The beating that a single player takes during a season wears on the body and can possibly effect a team. Adding a player would allow more depth to each roster. It's hard to see any negative there besides the obvious, money.

Lastly, the day's discussions ended with talks of free agency, season length, and more. According to the PLPA press release there are more than twelve issues that still remain unchanged from the last proposal.

On Monday there will be a conference call between the PLPA and NLL where the PLPA can provide the league with more clarity on many of the issues in their proposal. The league has also set a deadline of October 26th for both parties to reach an agreement. 

In the meantime players have said that they will hold out of physicals and camp until a "fair" CBA is reached between the PLPA and the NLL. As we sit two months out from the season there is a very real possibility that will see an NLL lockout to start the 2018-19 season. Despite all the positives going fo the NLL there are still negatives and things that can be improved. 


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