NFL Locks Out Officials
NFL officials are currently in a lock out due to an ongoing labor dispute. The officials announced on Wednesday that things could be very ugly on the football field this season if the league decided to go forward with its threat of using replacement officials.
Scott Green, a current official and president of the Referees Association, said that officials on the field of play at NFL games would not be of the quality that the players, the NFL, fans or the owners have become accustomed to, if replacement officials are used.
The last time replacement officials took part in an NFL season was in 2001. They were used during the entire exhibition season and for the first week of games. However, following the 9/11 attacks, in a sign of solidarity, the officials and league representatives negotiated a new agreement and started back to work. That is the agreement that just expired at the end of May of this year.
Officials are currently asking for a pay increase that they describe as being modest and have not asked for any of their benefits to be increased. The NFL has not commented publically on anything the officials have spoken about to reporters or newspapers.
The league released an official statement that said they had offered a new proposal to officials that would last through the end of the 2018 season. The proposal offers officials pay raises of between 5% and 11% in compensation. The statement said that if a first year official earned $78,000 in 2001, which is the average, then that same official would be earning over $165,000 per year at the end of the proposed agreement in 2018.
The two parties have yet to meet since June 3 when they held a one-day negotiating session that did not result in anything.