Players union ratifies deal with National Lacrosse League to end labour dispute

The National Lacrosse League and the Professional Lacrosse Players' Association have reached an agreement and will have a late start to the league's 2018-19 season. Saskatchewan Rush / Supplied

The Professional Lacrosse Players’ Association and the National Lacrosse League agreed on terms Saturday to end a labour dispute that saw the league cancel the first two weekends of its 2018-19 season.

The PLPA tweeted that a majority of its members voted to ratify a tentatively approved deal reached by the union and the NLL.

“This new agreement sets the players in a great position for success as partners in a league and a sport whose best days are ahead,” said PLPA president Peter Schmitz.

READ MORE: Collective bargaining impasse threatens start of National Lacrosse League season

The deal carries a five-year term beginning with the upcoming season.

“We appreciate the efforts of the negotiating committee and their tireless dedication to reaching a fair and equitable agreement for both the NLL and the players,” NLL commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said.

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“This agreement has created a clear path for incremental growth, not just for the players and the existing clubs but for the sport of lacrosse as well. Thank you also to the fans and the players for your patience as we worked through this situation.”

The NLL moved to scrap games scheduled for Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 after rejecting a counter-proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement submitted by the PLPA on Nov. 15.

READ MORE: National Lacrosse League relocates Rochester Knighthawks to Halifax

A spokesperson for the PLPA said it was hopeful the cancelled games would be put back on the calendar, but it is unclear at this time whether that will happen.

Canadian teams weren’t slated to lose any home dates on the opening week, but Saskatchewan and Vancouver were scheduled to have their home openers in the second week of the season.

Calgary doesn’t play its first home game until the third week of the season.

Labour uncertainty began in January when the PLPA exercised a five-year opt-out clause in the seven-year collective bargaining agreement between the union and the league signed in 2013.

The two sides were unable to hammer out a new agreement over the months that followed.


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