The Catch All CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) Thread

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by MLSFan123, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    We have CBA conversations going on all over the place in multiple threads. Lets collect all the thoughts and articles in one thread. This is probably going to be a long grueling process over the next year so there will be plenty to talk about.

    Here is an article from the news thread to kick things off
    http://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2014/2/24/5430700/MLS-cba-battle
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  2. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  3. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    That is the point of this thread. We have discussions all over the place. The TV thread, the news thread, multiple individual threads, all talking about the same topic.
  4. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    Absolutely. This is a noble thread. And I agree a centralized location for new news items/links and discussion would be great. Let's hope this thread can grow into that.

    My links to earlier BS threads were an attempt to provide some useful background reading -- not an attempt to derail or undermine this thread specifically about the ongoing MLS and MLSPU collective bargaining.
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  5. LordRobin

    LordRobin Member+

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    I'm really interested to see the directions the discussions lead. Every time a CBA is up for renewal in a sports league, it's assumed that the players will hold out for more money. In MLS, though, if the salaries are raised too much, players could find themselves priced out of the league. If team owners find themselves with more money to spend on salaries, they're probably going to spend that money on a higher class of players, not necessarily the same guys getting the money now.

    I'm guessing they'll push for another baby step toward free agency, rather than a bigger salary cap.

    ------RM
  6. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    I agree. There are many items the players are going to looking to improve outside of salary including:

    *Improved player movement
    *Improved pensions/401k's
    *Improved health care
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  7. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

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    To extend on LordRobin's post, I'm very curious to know what the biggest points of contention for the MLSPU heading into these negotiations. Yeah, they want more money, but I'm guessing they have goals about player movement for out of contract player, contract guarantees, league-held options, transparency, length of season, transportation, etc....

    Then, of course, there's the whole point of what the owners want and how unified they are. As we all know too well, there are varying degrees of ambition and willingness to spend within MLS and the Krafts and Hunts don't like to spend like they do in Seattle, Toronto, NY and LA. I'm sure Garber will present them as lockstep but we all know there's a big chasm there.
  8. Lancaster FC

    Lancaster FC Member

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    I doubt we will hear anything about it, but I also wonder about things like practice facilities. I know in Philly it has been rumored to have impacted player acquisition.

    More importantly, i'm curious how some player movement over the winter will effect the new CBA. the Camilo situation was a disaster. Both sides may seek to strengthen contracts around "player/club options"
  9. triplet1

    triplet1 BigSoccer Supporter

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    A quick read, but I thought this was right on the money. Oshan's right that the last CBA really concentrated much of the economic benefit at the low end and the high end of the salary structure, while (comparatively) median pay didn't really improve as much (18% over four years). I also think he's right that while the owners are likely willing to pay more, they'll again be picky where they spend it.

    Fasten your seatbelts.
  10. Matt Hall

    Matt Hall Member

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    The latest CBO report (reach alert) could be read as evidence against that assessment, and I'm already on the record as generally disagreeing with it as well, so no need to go into that. But in the specific case of additional DPs I think we could agree that the money would indeed be spent mostly on a different class of players.

    I wonder if the union would even fight the addition of a 4th DP. High likelihood of replacing an existing member, but puts more high status players under the umbrella going forward. Diverts potential salary budget spending to single players, but they could count on the owners who don't use all their DPs to fight some of their battle for them and use that as a bargaining chip on issues that affect the median player like the cap.

    It's completely possible that the players' union would in the end decline to take a strong stance against an additional DP. More likely that will be a source of contention among the owners, right?
  11. fuzzx

    fuzzx Member+

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    Is the 4th DP slot really a viable idea from the owners perspective?

    By 2015 there will be 5 teams out of 21 that will consistently come up against that limit, and many more teams that will never come close. Then you have teams in the middle like Montreal that fluctuate between 1-3 DP's. But given that many of these players make in the $500k range, I would imagine these teams would be just as happy with an increase in max salary/cap instead.

    I just don't see how the few moneyed owners can convince the majority that a 4th slot is in their best interest, unless it was taxed heavily in some way.

    We know the 2nd and 3rd slots require an extra fee to be paid to the league right? So the only way I can see a 4th slot working is with a significantly higher penalty, probably spread as allocation money to other teams. A luxury tax of sorts, but on DP slots.
  12. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    Teams can make a one time purchase of $250k for the 3rd slot. That money is then distributed evenly amongst all other teams.

    There is no payment for first or second dp slot.

    Once you purchase the 3rd slot, you have it forever (or at least until the rules chance again).
  13. EvilTree

    EvilTree Member+

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    I don't believe you need to pay for 3rd slot if you use it on a young DP
  14. scoachd1

    scoachd1 Member+

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    Exactly what is the basis for this view? Are the Toronto players up in arms because the the team just increased their payroll multiple times from previous years? Sure Matias Laba probably not happy but the rest of the players in league realize that it will help them make more money. Has the Union threatened to strike or call the NRB each time the league comes up with more allocation money? Of course not, because while some new players will move in and some of the lowest paid players will get cut, the rest will end up seeing more money.

    The biggest concern for many players is that lack of mobility which MLS uses to squeeze the salaries of the Canadian, US and Caribbean players that come into the league through the draft and other mechanisms and make up the majority of players in the league. If there were a truly free market then these players would be paid a premium much like they are in other markets. In contrast, local players - especially Canadians play at a significant discount for the productivity the provide on the field. Some of these guys have wives or girl friends that can't work permits abroad. Some might struggle to get work permits themselves while other maybe feel they would struggle with the culture difference. As a result they are stuck with what the league will offer and not the value they provide nor what they would get if other MLS teams could off them money instead of some foreign player that might or might not adapt to the league.
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  15. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    That is correct. Here is the exact wording. I just noticed the fee was lowered from $250k to $150k

    Each club has two Designated Player slots and clubs are allowed to “purchase” a third Designated Player slot for a one-time fee of $150,000 that will be dispersed in the form of allocation money to all clubs that do not have three Designated Players. Clubs will not have to buy the third DP roster slot to accommodate Designated Players 23 years old and younger.
  16. triplet1

    triplet1 BigSoccer Supporter

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    I wouldn't get too hung up on the 4th DP as we know it; I think it was only an example. It could just as easily be structured as another exemption to retain players using the retention funds. The central point he's making is that if the owners do agree to pay players significantly more, they'll want to target what players they spend that money on -- they'll be far more reluctant to raise pay across the board.

    And if they do move average pay up significantly, again I think the article makes a good point that would probably see the owners "want more latitude when it comes to signing foreigners, as that's the easiest and fastest way to improve the talent pool." Essentially, the owners would say to the union, "you want to see median pay at $150k? Fine. But then we want the right to go deeper into the global talent pool and who else we can sign for wages of $150k."
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  17. FlipsLikeAPancake

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    I don't think that's a useful metric at all.

    Roster sizes were only 24 per team at the end of the last CBA. Now you can have up to 30. And most of those additional roster spots are low salary developmental contracts that are inherently going to pull down the median.

    So really, all comparing median salary tells us is that the 15th/16th guy on rosters now make 18% more than the 12th/13th guy did four years ago.
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  18. AndyMead

    AndyMead America Uber Alles

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    Yeah, CBA's rarely get into "DP" mechanics or that type of thing.

    One thing that interests me is the Los Angeles Galaxy II. MLS owns the 28-30 players on the Los Angeles Galaxy's roster. Those players will be members of the MLSPU.

    The Los Angeles Galaxy II will field players from the Los Angeles Galaxy's roster, Galaxy Academy (amateur) players, and players under direct contract to the Galaxy.

    I would think the MLSPU would try to organize these non-MLS contracted players under contract to MLS teams. Not necessarily under the terms of an MLS contract, but possibly under two-way contracts or other mechanisms. It's in the interest of MLSPU to organize minor league players - especially those under contract to MLS teams. I don't think a strike/lockout are on the table for next year, but potentially down the line, the MLSPU will want to protect it's back end from scabs. Non-union players already wearing LA Galaxy colors would be an obvious starting point for "replacement players". Whether joining MLSPU would be in those players best interest or not depends on the terms of an CBA with MLS that includes them.

    I'm just saying that the expansion of MLS reserve teams into D3, not to mention a fair number of players on loan in the NASL as well, opens up the door to some interesting bargaining points.
  19. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    Cross-posting from the Referee lock-out thread:

    First comments I've seen from the labor side after the announcement of the referee lock-out.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...502e12-a615-11e3-b865-38b254d92063_story.html

  20. deejay

    deejay Member+

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    I'm a little confused about this. Are the refs really employees? Can they really complain about labor practices? Can they really ask for financials? It would seem to me that the only parameter that should be taken into account is what the market bears and how much refs in the world earn.
  21. fuzzx

    fuzzx Member+

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    Yes they are employees. The refs unionized last year. All the members of the union have the right to negotiate with their employer.

    Sure the league can get scabs. Maybe it'll work maybe it won't. We know that PRO has been working with these guys for years, and they are the best they have.

    All we can do is wait and see how analogous to the NFL this ends up being
  22. deejay

    deejay Member+

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    Not a very informational answer but it gave me some ideas for additional keywords to search for. In essence, they are PRO employees so they have a right to strike. They are probably out of line to ask for MLS financials since MLS is not their direct employer.
  23. fuzzx

    fuzzx Member+

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    Yeah, I doubt they will get much out of the league. That information is something they value highly.

    IN the grand scheme of things the refs are a small cost. It's a fraction of player costs and the league can meet the officials demands without issue.

    But this is all part of a bigger picture. This is step one of the Player CBA negotiations next year. I see this as the league telling the players, especially the younger ones, that they will not acquiesce.
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  24. deejay

    deejay Member+

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    Seems to me that the PSRA is stretching things a little when involving MLS. AFAICT, PRO assigns referees to all levels of professional soccer. This includes NASL, USL Pro, NWSL and the Open Cup.
  25. deejay

    deejay Member+

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