Discussion in 'Referee' started by GoDawgsGo, Feb 1, 2013.
From PSRA Facebook page:
I thought referees were independant contractors, well with the exception of a few that PRO has as full time? If so, contractors, as I understand it, aren't bound by employee unions.
Hopefully this just goes away.
This was bound to happen at some point.
Some of this is the fans doing for sure. By creating enough noise about the quality of refereeing in the MLS, the league finally got to the point where they essentially got rid of the USSF hierarchy, and started PRO. Now, I can't help but wonder if the referees feel their hands are tied. I mean, who is looking out for their best interest? It used to be that USSF was, and most referees had confidence that was true. I'm reading between the lines (and I could be wrong), but I wonder if this move is simply a statement by some referees that they don't trust PRO to be representing them well. After all, the whole PRO thing was king of thrust upon them.
I also wonder if this move really represents the will of the referees, or if it is a power grab by Vergara. This kind of thing has been tried before, and always failed when most referees refused to join, mostly out of trust/fear of the USSF leadership. Not sure if that is still the case though.
That's not true at all. You don't have to be employed by a company to be a member of a union, you just have to pay dues and commit to the rules of the union.
I understand that, i am coming from the other side. If (and I don't know this) contractors are treated different than employees (I know when I hire a contractor, they don't get benefits, vacation etc.) if there's a union involed, do they have to follow the same rules?
Second, if there's an official union, and I don't join, but PRO contracts me to work MLS games (ya right), is union agreements involved?
I do not think this has anything to do with fans. Fans will always have complaints, some justified, some not. We cannot ignore the fact that there have been problems with officiating. I do not think PRO was ever set up to represent the officials. It was set up to ensure the professional leagues, mainly MLS, are better served by those working the league. I think it's understandable for referees to have some reservations and want to protect themselves.
What happens is that the union will tell PRO that if they want any of their refs, they must only use their refs. If you should be contacted without being a union member, the union will withhold all of their refs and you won't work for any league that uses union refs again. It is much the same way that the pointy ball replacement refs were all told that they weren't needed for any college leagues they had previously participated in.
Hard to discuss unions and not get politics involved, so I'll just say that a group of highly skilled people in the top 99.8 percentile of their trade unionizing isn't that strange.
Walton (PRO) had said initially at least that he was supportive of this from PSRA as it's the same system with PGMOL and the FA. IMHO this situation can go a long long way in ensuring the professionalization of soccer officiating in the US, at least in terms of match fees, which to me since this is my primary income for many months between publishing cycles, is extremely important. We are a profession by definition but for the income. And frankly, I'm sick and tired of SRAs competing against each other (which I was led to believe is not supposed to happen) and undercutting each other via match fees to gain tournaments and fall club season league play.
I straddle two SRAs geographically and one pays much less and has all the tournaments now while the SRA I am actually in geographically and get most of my assignments from anyway is getting fewer and fewer league and tourneys because we try to get the most match fee as we can for our membership. We also train harder and have higher level officials than the lower paying SRA. A union/guild can help level that b.s. out. For all the griping in the US about unions, my sibling in the entertainment industry is ALL guild/union and they don't have the issues everyone insists comes by default with unions.
I train all the damned time and uniforms and gear and training and multiple SRA and Association fees come from the pittance I get from games. I resent being low paid and training hard and working to upgrade and maintain every year. I ain't gettin' any younger and this job is what I am passionate about. I'm too old to ever get to PSRA level but for cryin' out loud this ain't no damned hobby for me and for a whole lot of our colleagues.
Whether that is actually what happens is unknown at this time. Basing decisions on what if's is an iffy business. ;-)
And if the game is played in a "right to work" state, then what? I honestly don't know but I think the union ends up in court on the wrong end of the verdict.
The facts are that all but one of the 21 MLS referees (not including the AR's and 4ths) are either full or part time employees this year. The remaining referee is an independent contractor. If you are an employee, you are entitled, by law, to form a union.
Aren't pointy ball refs, baseball umps, and hockey refs unionized?
State and federal labor laws are two different animals. In this case, I believe issues of interstate commerce come into play with professional sports, so I do not believe state right-to-work laws apply in the same way that they normally do.
Also, even in right-to-work states, you have a right to join a union. Right-to-work essentially means (depending on how legislation is crafted and how it's targeted) that you cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment.
Good point. Not fair to blame the fans. I agree.
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