NFL players and their union are gearing up for a battle over labor rules and equipment, with one team’s latest proposal for a new union-management agreement inching closer to reality.
The New England Patriots announced Monday they would adopt the same rule that the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens used to start their collective bargaining process last year, which is to require all players to be certified as “certified industrial parts” under a new collective bargaining agreement that could go into effect in the fall.
That rule has been under scrutiny from labor groups who argue that certification is unnecessary for many players because they are not considered part of the manufacturing process.
As the NFL and its players’ union try to hammer out a new labor agreement, the league is looking to get the ball rolling by introducing the new rule as early as this month.
If the NFL were to follow through on the proposed rule, the rules would likely go into force by the beginning of the 2019 season.
What’s more, if the league follows through on its plan to go with the certification standard, the rule would go into full effect by the start of the 2020 season.
A spokesperson for the NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Under the rule, any NFL player who has worked at least 10 hours a week for at least six consecutive weeks would need to be a certified industrial parts worker to work at least eight hours of his or her regular NFL practice work a week.
The rule also says that any player who is not certified must be compensated for the time he or she spends at an NFL facility.
Under the current agreement, only a certified employee of the NFL can be compensated.
The players union has called for a union-wide contract that would cover all employees.
The NFL is not seeking a collective bargaining contract with the players union.
Currently, NFL players can work a maximum of eight hours per week for the league, or they can work an average of 16 hours per workweek.
Players can be paid an average $20.25 an hour, or $60,000 per year, if they work more than 10 hours per game.
“The union and players will work together to get a contract that is fair and equitable for all,” said Tom Coughlin, the NFL commissioner.
“That is our goal, and it will be achieved.”
The Patriots have also said they are prepared to adopt a new rule that would require all employees to be required to be in full compliance with the rule if they want to be compensated, including not being paid overtime, the team’s official website said.