The NFL Referees Association and the NFL league negotiators met earlier today in search of a new deal on their expired collective bargaining agreement.
These meetings were pre-planned and were not a response to last night’s controversy at the end of the Green Bay Packers – Seattle Seahawks Monday Night Football matchup. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was present at the meeting, which is a part of negotiations that have been going on for the past week.
There are still a slew of issues that need be agreed upon before the two sides can settle and the regular referees can get back to work. The NFL wants to end the current pension plan system that was in the previous agreement and replace it with a 401k retirement plan. The league also wants three new referee crews to reduce stress on the officials. Greg Aiello, a league spokesman, said that this will reduce travel, allow more referee training, better integrate new referees, increase diversity, and improve officiating quality.
Another issue that is being discussed is league oversight of current officials. The league wants these new crews at the ready in case they decide that current crews are underperforming, but the referees have yet to give in to the league’s insistence that they include that on any agreement.
The NFL Referees Association responded to the current issues that the league has raised by saying that they are simply using a “negotiating tactic to attempt to divert attention from the real issues.”
The referees are also asking for an eight percent increase in their current pay for officiating games. The league has offered a 2.5 percent increase, but it isn’t as much as the refs were hoping for.
A source told FOX Sports that there has been little to no progress in the talks despite four straight days at the negotiating table.
We will continue to keep you updated as the negotiations continue.
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