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Author Topic: CBA negotiations  (Read 18444 times)
theaardvark
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« Reply #135 on: May 16, 2022, 02:07:49 PM »

Horrible situation but you also mention the horrible US health care system which is true.  Fortunately this isn't something that happens often. As mentioned the CFL has extended the coverage to 4 years in the current deal. Hefney was more the exception than the rule regarding long term injury.  Leading to a life of drug trafficking I can't respond to.

I don't know the CFL can be held to account for the lack of US health care. Like any type of insurance doesn't some of the responsibility fall to the player to insure himself?

How much does this kind of insurance cost?

It was already mentioned how many extensive injuries happened in TC without padded practices. The veterans were protected as far as I can tell. The injuries to rookies being released might be worth a further discussion. 

This is not something that has not just come up in the 100 year existence of the CFL.

Yes, it is up to the player to insure himself in the US.  But insurance is expensive, especially if you are not on a plan.  Obamacare helped a lot, but still, it costs.  And we know, not all pro football players are financial wizards like Adam Bighill, many don't have much left saved after a career in the CFL. 

We are using Int players, and taking advantage of their talents, and then effectively tossing the on the trashpile when we are done with them.  My point is to take care of players after their careers.  Some stay in Canada and become great spokespeople for the CFL, we see those guys.  But until someone like a Hefney hits the newspapers, we don't hear about them.  His is an extreme case, but I bet there are a lot of players whose stories are similar. 

If the CFLPA is concerned about extended health care, and are using padded practices to fight for that, I say "give it to them now".   Instead of doubling the SMS increase, commit to taking care of the players outside the paycheck (which I contend, again, is more than sufficient to attract good players at the present levels). 

Add in benefits (health care including counseling / rehab, 401k/RRSP matching, education subsidies) instead.  Commit to the players in a "partnership for life" rather than a "hired gun, dispense with when empty" relationship.  Also, with the size of the insured group, the league should be able to either come up with a pretty special rte with a carrier, or even create a self insured pool.   

Again, many NAT players and Globals who live in Canada and abroad will have national health coverage, so that might be moot for them, although RRSP / education subsidies might apply.  But they have benefits INTs don't have in the ratio and salary vs. ability.  So this kind of levels the playing field for the Ints as well.

Signing a CFL TC contract should also include 1 year heath insurance /counseling / rehab premiums as well.  For those guys that get injured day one of TC and get released. 

These are expenses that make sense to increase.  Just tossing cash at the SMS is a shallow way to buy the players, and short sighted for players to accept.
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DM83
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« Reply #136 on: May 16, 2022, 02:18:23 PM »

Hefney's case sticks out in my mind also.
The injury if I remember correctly, really turned out to be severe.  Nothing is worth maiming yourself, and then being abandoned by your team.

Maybe the length of insurance could be related  to years of service.
Additionally, couldn't the club have offered him office employment, for him to continue to either get or be covered by their medical insurance, provide an income, and as mentioned earlier establish an educational fund for these guys.

Many people in society need  the same "back-up" support.
In 1974, going to University, The Federal government provided both bursaries and low interest loans, which were to be begin paying back when employment was found.

As a society, do we really care about the homeless/helpless.  In Hefneys case, when  there is nothing to rely on, turning to ilegal activities is his only option.

Really if this was your son, what would you do? (to support/care for him)

The collective agreement should be developed so some sort of fund be created  to assist the injured to transition, to life away from playing.
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theaardvark
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« Reply #137 on: May 16, 2022, 02:33:36 PM »

To lighten the mood...

Rob Vanstone@robvanstone
CFL Power Rankings (Premiere Edition): 1. Calgary Stampeders; 2. Edmonton Elks.
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #138 on: May 16, 2022, 03:00:52 PM »

Yes, it is up to the player to insure himself in the US.  But insurance is expensive, especially if you are not on a plan.  Obamacare helped a lot, but still, it costs.  And we know, not all pro football players are financial wizards like Adam Bighill, many don't have much left saved after a career in the CFL. 

We are using Int players, and taking advantage of their talents, and then effectively tossing the on the trashpile when we are done with them.  My point is to take care of players after their careers.  Some stay in Canada and become great spokespeople for the CFL, we see those guys.  But until someone like a Hefney hits the newspapers, we don't hear about them.  His is an extreme case, but I bet there are a lot of players whose stories are similar. 

If the CFLPA is concerned about extended health care, and are using padded practices to fight for that, I say "give it to them now".   Instead of doubling the SMS increase, commit to taking care of the players outside the paycheck (which I contend, again, is more than sufficient to attract good players at the present levels). 

Add in benefits (health care including counseling / rehab, 401k/RRSP matching, education subsidies) instead.  Commit to the players in a "partnership for life" rather than a "hired gun, dispense with when empty" relationship.  Also, with the size of the insured group, the league should be able to either come up with a pretty special rte with a carrier, or even create a self insured pool.   

Again, many NAT players and Globals who live in Canada and abroad will have national health coverage, so that might be moot for them, although RRSP / education subsidies might apply.  But they have benefits INTs don't have in the ratio and salary vs. ability.  So this kind of levels the playing field for the Ints as well.

Signing a CFL TC contract should also include 1 year heath insurance /counseling / rehab premiums as well.  For those guys that get injured day one of TC and get released. 

These are expenses that make sense to increase.  Just tossing cash at the SMS is a shallow way to buy the players, and short sighted for players to accept.

Before Covid the last couple of years we travelled a lot. It cost us about $1000 for a year. If I went to Vegas and tripped getting out of a bus and broke my arm I was covered. If I was younger and tore up a knee surfing in Hawaii I was covered.

Obviously that's not directly the same as a pro sports related injury but shows to some degree the personal responsibility to insure.

The " assist the injured to transition " to life away from playing. I'm not sure how many players that really is an issue. Hefney was legitimate example. I remember James Bell in Edmonton with a life changing neck injury as well. Beyond that we don't really hear what injuries exist during and beyond football.

Canadian LB Lowes was apparently injured in mini camp and released. No specific reports of what the injury was or whether it is long term or short term. He's not a veteran so he's not likely going to be added to the IR to start the season. He may or may not be added back on the PR later this season. We have seen rookies injured in TC that the team wanted to keep around and were placed on IR to begin the season.

Anything is possible from career ending injury to fractured wrist?

There is no transparency to the fans ( nor should there be ) but that makes it difficult to see the bigger picture. All sports have injuries to deal with.

IMO the padded practices are not specifically causing injuries. We often hear of players injuring themselves untouched as in last year's rash of achilles problems.

Maston was one of those and he spent the season on the IR. Now he's back projected to be a starter. That's a TBD to see if he can perform to the level he used to be able or whether it is in fact career ending. Odds are in his favour compared to earlier decades. Improved surgery and treatment, but it's not guaranteed either.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 03:02:57 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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Blue In BC
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« Reply #139 on: May 16, 2022, 03:07:55 PM »

No news of any continuing discussions today. Bombers would have been the 1st team to have an pre season game on the 23rd against Regina. That's toast. Their 2nd game along with most other teams 1st game was scheduled for the 27th.

Most of the 2nd games could potentially be played IF, IF, IF the CBA is resolved in the very near future. Just a guess but no later than this Friday would be my best guess to allow those games to proceed.

If this continues beyond that date then we're likely going to not have any pre season games. That's not good for anybody.
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Lincoln Locomotive
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« Reply #140 on: May 16, 2022, 03:15:25 PM »

If you are able please join the players as they picket IGF....they are encouraging fans to support them.   I'd be there if I lived in the Peg...

https://winnipegsun.com/sports/football/cfl/winnipeg-bluebombers/i-stand-with-my-teammates-blue-bombers-players-are-on-strike
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theaardvark
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« Reply #141 on: May 16, 2022, 03:18:26 PM »

Before Covid the last couple of years we travelled a lot. It cost us about $1000 for a year. If I went to Vegas and tripped getting out of a bus and broke my arm I was covered. If I was younger and tore up a knee surfing in Hawaii I was covered.

Obviously that's not directly the same as a pro sports related injury but shows to some degree the personal responsibility to insure.

The " assist the injured to transition " to life away from playing. I'm not sure how many players that really is an issue. Hefney was legitimate example. I remember James Bell in Edmonton with a life changing neck injury as well. Beyond that we don't really hear what injuries exist during and beyond football.

Canadian LB Lowes was apparently injured in mini camp and released. No specific reports of what the injury was or whether it is long term or short term. He's not a veteran so he's not likely going to be added to the IR to start the season. He may or may not be added back on the PR later this season. We have seen rookies injured in TC that the team wanted to keep around and were placed on IR to begin the season.

Anything is possible from career ending injury to fractured wrist?

There is no transparency to the fans ( nor should there be ) but that makes it difficult to see the bigger picture. All sports have injuries to deal with.

IMO the padded practices are not specifically causing injuries. We often hear of players injuring themselves untouched as in last year's rash of achilles problems.

Maston was one of those and he spent the season on the IR. Now he's back projected to be a starter. That's a TBD to see if he can perform to the level he used to be able or whether it is in fact career ending. Odds are in his favour compared to earlier decades. Improved surgery and treatment, but it's not guaranteed either.



Insurance is not designed to benefit everyone, by definition, it is to provide assistance to the few who need it by having everyone pay into a central fund that the few get paid out of.  It does not have to have a universal usage, but rather coverage for those in need.

Players are claiming they are nothing but pieces on a board that are used and sacrificed as the league sees fit (my analogy).  By accepting a partnership role, during and after playing careers changes that dynamic.  

  
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« Reply #142 on: May 16, 2022, 03:26:30 PM »

Derek Taylor
@DTonSC
?
52m
At least 80 Bombers players together for an informal workout this morning.
It looks a lot like a regular camp practice, but being led by vets. #ForTheW
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #143 on: May 16, 2022, 03:46:39 PM »

Insurance is not designed to benefit everyone, by definition, it is to provide assistance to the few who need it by having everyone pay into a central fund that the few get paid out of.  It does not have to have a universal usage, but rather coverage for those in need.

Players are claiming they are nothing but pieces on a board that are used and sacrificed as the league sees fit (my analogy).  By accepting a partnership role, during and after playing careers changes that dynamic.  

  

 I don't see it that way post career beyond the new 4 year limit of the proposed CBA. I can see some ground for injuries during TC discussions. The post career issue is an extreme situation and IMO some of that risk has to be taken by any player in any pro sport.

CTE is the biggest long term health issue but it could be decades before it becomes obvious and / or directly attributed to football career. The most immediate long term injury would be neck compression injury like Hefney or James Bell.  I can't think of any others in the CFL besides those 2 at the moment.

Somebody needs to come up with more examples of what exactly the CFLPA wants IMO. I'm not saying there aren't some things that could be done but everything has it's limits. Knowing where to draw the line as fair is the question.

I think your idea of partnership goes too far. As I mentioned that in any business benefits versus wages are a trade off situation. Young people tend to sacrifice benefits for money money NOW. That may not be the wisest decision but it's a reality.

The current agreement is about $300K more per year starting in 2023. Would the CFLPA balk at reducing that to $200K with the other $100K going into some version of improved healthcare benefits? Or a $150K split of more wages and more benefits?

Keep in mind that many players will have very short and injury free careers. Just a guess but new players will probably want cash now more.

That's the choice at hand isn't it?
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #144 on: May 16, 2022, 04:29:10 PM »

More on Hefney



Article content

Just three months before that, he underwent the first in an anticipated series of operations, with its $88,000 cost covered by CFL-provided medical benefits.


This time, though, there was no CFL medical coverage. Those benefits lapsed Oct. 1, 2016, one year from the date of his injury, as stipulated by the collective agreement between the league and the CFL Players? Association. So, although Hefney eventually received a $200,000 Cdn disability insurance payout, its converted value of $120,000 U.S. was consumed by another $88,000 surgery bill and associated fees for physicians and services such as anesthesia.


Unbelievable high cost of health care in the USA.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 04:38:43 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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theaardvark
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« Reply #145 on: May 16, 2022, 04:35:33 PM »

More on Hefney



Article content

Just three months before that, he underwent the first in an anticipated series of operations, with its $88,000 cost covered by CFL-provided medical benefits.


This time, though, there was no CFL medical coverage. Those benefits lapsed Oct. 1, 2016, one year from the date of his injury, as stipulated by the collective agreement between the league and the CFL Players? Association. So, although Hefney eventually received a $200,000 Cdn disability insurance payout, its converted value of $120,000 U.S. was consumed by another $88,000 surgery bill and associated fees for physicians and services such as anesthesia.

Exactly... but selling that to 700 members that "This may happen to you" is tough... as has been said, "Show me the money NOW" is too prevalent.  They need leaders like Bighill that understand the long game to explain how they can get more out of a CBA than just extra dollars that put them in a higher tax bracket now...
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 04:40:30 PM by theaardvark » Logged

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Blue In BC
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« Reply #146 on: May 16, 2022, 04:48:19 PM »

Exactly... but seeling that to 700 member that "This may happen to you" is tough... as has been said, "Show me the money NOW" is too prevalent.  They need leaders like Bighill that understand the long game to explain how they can get more out of a CBA than just extra dollars that put them in a higher tax bracket now...

There are more players that fall into the 1 - 4 year as players than long term veterans. Even leaders like Bighill aren't going to win that argument with majority in a vote. Of course it's usually veterans that are part of the CFLPA negotiation team.

In theory they could have asked for / or suggested less money now as the trade off for more benefits now. $300K is $300K whether you spend it as wages or benefits. Insurance payouts ( when needed ) are higher than cost of insurance. It's the actualization calculation done by insurers to assess risk and payouts.

Note that the proposed SMS increase over 7 years is $2.1M ( $300K per year ). That's a lot more than the previous agreement which only raised the SMS by $50K in each of the last 2 years IIRC?

CFLPA doesn't like the 7 year deal and neither do I. $300K per year for 3 years or 5 years or 7 years can be adjusted to the shorter deal. Of course longer agreements tend to pay more than shorter deals.

So would a 5 year deal that only averaged $250K per year be worth it to players for the shorter deal? Or $220K per year for a 3 year deal?
I only vaguely remember my benefits while employed. I've some that were better than others. That said I seem to recall losing an arm or eye was worth about $10K. Losing your life might have been worth $25K?? 

It's a similar issue dealing with automotive insurance for a life altering injury. You need a good lawyer and he takes 30%.

DID THE PLAYERS VOTE ON THE OFFER? If not, when?  I know the CFLPA said to reject the offer but doesn't it still require a league wide vote?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 05:27:29 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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Throw Long Bannatyne
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« Reply #147 on: May 16, 2022, 06:09:46 PM »

Exactly... but selling that to 700 members that "This may happen to you" is tough... as has been said, "Show me the money NOW" is too prevalent.  They need leaders like Bighill that understand the long game to explain how they can get more out of a CBA than just extra dollars that put them in a higher tax bracket now...

Your suggestion of "partnership for life" is a bit steep, seeing as the average CFL player career is probably less than 4 years long.  If players want the benefits of our tax-payer funded health care system, they're welcome to apply for citizenship while they're playing here.  A few do, most don't.

Choosing football as a career is a high risk occupation, especially if you come from the impoverished Deep South or a  inner-city ghetto and have a very poor education to begin with.  The US allows this system to persist by underfunding education and health care and also allowing their high-school and college systems to exploit student athletes for profit without ensuring they provide them with a solid education to fall back on.  A large percentage of Import players do not have degrees after playing College football for 4 years, and an equal percentage graduate with "easy degrees" that do not aid them in pursuit of an after college football career. The CFL is happy to pick up on the fallout of this system by offering temporary employment to players with slim to no other options.

Happily Canadian schools do not allow college athletes to get by on athleticism alone, hopefully it stays that way.

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theaardvark
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« Reply #148 on: May 16, 2022, 06:42:20 PM »

5 year deal to co-incide with the TSN revenue stream seems more appropriate, and I think that's what they will meet at.  

Give the players a chance to improve their ask should revenue increase, but it also gives teams the ability to cry poor if they do not...
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theaardvark
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« Reply #149 on: May 16, 2022, 06:46:26 PM »

Your suggestion of "partnership for life" is a bit steep, seeing as the average CFL player career is probably less than 4 years long.  If players want the benefits of our tax-payer funded health care system, they're welcome to apply for citizenship while they're playing here.  A few do, most don't.

Choosing football as a career is a high risk occupation, especially if you come from the impoverished Deep South or a  inner-city ghetto and have a very poor education to begin with.  The US allows this system to persist by underfunding education and health care and also allowing their high-school and college systems to exploit student athletes for profit without ensuring they provide them with a solid education to fall back on.  A large percentage of Import players do not have degrees after playing College football for 4 years, and an equal percentage graduate with "easy degrees" that do not aid them in pursuit of an after college football career. The CFL is happy to pick up on the fallout of this system by offering temporary employment to players with slim to no other options.

Happily Canadian schools do not allow college athletes to get by on athleticism alone, hopefully it stays that way.



Again, not interested in supporting a player or his healthcare for his entire life, but rather to support him in his career, and his transition to post playing days.  To better prepare him for life.  And for the CFLPA to offer support for life, as long as they pay thier dues.  No reason the CFLPA can't offer extended healthcare once the CFL policies exhaust.  They have a large enough membership to get a good rate.  And they should be eager to offer mentorship and counseling to members.  A union shouldn't only represent you when you are of use to them... its supposed to be a brotherhood.

For life.

Teh CFL andf CFLPA should be working together towards this goal.  No player left behind.
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