They may be negotiating under the gaze of a mediator, but at least the NFL owners and players are talking.
But that’s about all they’ve done the past four days. If their efforts don’t produce a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by 12:01 a.m. on March 4, a lot of people in the New York metropolitan area are going to lose money — and not just players.
The Jets indicated Monday that if the NFL does experience its first work stoppage since 1987, they will force their 96 business people to take a one-week unpaid leave each month until a new agreement is reached. The only reason the 62 people on the football operations side are being spared furloughs is because the coaches, trainers and talent evaluators are preparing for the draft, which the league is determined to run as scheduled April 28-30 regardless of the status of a new CBA.
The team will reimburse the employees as long as the lockout does not force a shortening of the season.
The Sports Business Journal reported that the Jets also will try to cut 25 percent from the football operations budget, though those numbers will not come via furloughs or layoffs.
The Giants, meanwhile, have not planned any furloughs or personnel cutbacks in the event of a work stoppage. That’s not unusual. While the league and many other organizations slashed their work force 10 percent during the recession, the Giants maintained the bulk of their employees. And when asked if any cutback measures were under consideration now, a spokesman told the Daily News, “We’re prepared for any eventuality. Mostly, we are preparing for the 2011 season.”
While it’s no secret that the middle-level player stands to lose the most through a lockout, the front-office employees will hurt even more. None of the affected advertising, promotions, marketing or public relations staff make anywhere near the $325,000 player minimum of 2011.
The mediated sessions in Washington, D.C., held under a mutual gag order, are scheduled to last three more days.