CBA Provisions Implicated by Contraction

In his November 9 column, Murray Chass of the New York Times identified some of the provisions in the CBA and Uniform Players Contract which formed the basis for the MLBPA's challenge to Major League Baseball's proposed contraction. Here's the relevant language from the CBA itself.

Recognition of the Union
"The Clubs recognize the Association as the sole and exclusive collective bargaining agent for all Major League Players, and individuals who may become Major League players during the term of this Agreement, with regard to all terms and conditions of employment, provided that [individual players may negotiate above-minimum salaries and special contractual provisions which provide extra benefits]."

"On or before July 1st of each year, copies of the tentative championship schedules of the Major Leagues for the next ensuing season shall be submitted to the Association for review. The Association shall complete its review not later than October 15th."

Future Expansion
(page missing from my copy of the CBA, but the provision allowed the owners to add two teams, to be chosen by 1999 to begin play by 2002)

Rule Changes
"If during the term of this Agreement any Major League rule, or rule or regulation of the American or National Leagues is proposed to be changed, the Clubs agree that they shall give the Association notice thereof, and shall negotiate the proposed change with the Association, provided that the obligation to negotiate with the Association provided by this Article shall apply only to (a) a change in a Player benefit under an existing rule or regulation and (b) the adoption of a rule or regulation which would change a Player benefit under an existing rule or regulation or impose an obligation upon the Players which had not previously existed. Except as specifically provided in this Article, the right of the Clubs to make any rule change whatsoever shall not be impaired or limited in any way, provided that the Clubs shall not make any change which is inconsistent with the provisions of any then existing agreement between the Clubs and the Association."

Assignment of Player Contracts
"The contract of a Player with ten or more years of Major League service, the last five of which have been with one Club, shall not be assignable to another Major League Club without the Player's written consent."
"The contract of a Player with five or more years of Major League service ... shall not be assigned otherwise than to another Major League Club, without the Player's written consent." [This rule goes on to state that the club must notify a player falling under this provision of its intention to assign his contract, and that this notice shall advise the player "that he may (i) consent to the assignment, (ii) refuse the assignment or (iii) elect to become a free agent."

Reserve System
Key provisions relevant here include the 40-man roster limit; eligibility for free agency; the right of a player traded during a multiyear contract to demand a trade; and the anti-collusion provision, which provides for treble damages if groups of players or groups of clubs act collusively with respect to free agency rights.

Revenue Sharing
"The revenue sharing plan may have a significant impact on the industry globally as well as on individual Clubs. Accordingly, the Parties acknowledge that the Association has a significant interest in any aspect of the revenue sharing plan or its operation materially affecting either: (a) the overall industry-wide net transfer of Net Local Revenue among Participating Clubs; or (b) the amount of net payments made by individual Payor Clubs and the amounts of net receipts received by individual Payee Clubs. The Parties also acknowledge that the Association has a significant interest in the administration and distribution of Supplemental Pool Payments. This paragraph shall not be construed to limit the Association's right to assert that it has other legitimate interests in the operation of the plan."

"[T]he Administrator shall regularly notify and consult with the Association with respect to any proposed changes [in the revenue sharing formulas], or as to any other proposed changes in the administration of the plan..."

Copyright © 2001 Doug Pappas. All rights reserved.

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