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CFLPA Releases Memo In Response to New CFL COVID-19 Policy, May File Grievance

The official Canadian Football League’s players union (CFLPA) has released a memo, reserving the right to file a grievance against the lawfulness of the new COVID-19 policy and whether it can be applicated. Here is the memo in full:

You may have seen the CFL’s recent memo regarding potential game cancelations. Through our counsel, we have responded to the league with the note shown here:

The CFLPA has reviewed the League’s August 1 policy regarding game cancellations due to Covid issues. The CFLPA is startled by, and disapproving of its contents. The Union believes the CFL’s policy is unreasonable and will not stand the scrutiny of an arbitration board.

Like the CFL, the CFLPA is hopeful that games may be rescheduled, but not cancelled this season. However, should that arise, the CFL is on notice that the CFLPA reserves the right to grieve the lawfulness of the policy and its application.

Our goal this year, as it as been for the past 20 months is to have a safe and healthy season under our present circumstances. We will not waiver from that focus, while at the same time protecting our membership’s rights.

Good luck to all CFLPA members as you take the field for the start of this exciting season.

Be assured we’ve got your back.

CFLPA executive director Brian Ramsay sent the union’s response to the league to the membership on Thursday.

The policy lays out the plans if and when a game becomes unable to be rescheduled due to a COVID-19 issue.

Given that we see already playing a shorter season, and the fact that there is very little time or open dates to reschedule a game, it is a fact that if a game does need to be augmented, there is a slim chance at best that it could end up rescheduled.

Here is what the new policy states:

if a game cannot be played as scheduled because of COVID-19 issues, and it cannot be rescheduled:

• And one club is suffering from the COVID-19 issues, that club will forfeit the game and be assigned a loss while its opponent will be credited with a win by a score of 1-0.

• And both clubs are suffering from the COVID-19 issues, then both clubs will forfeit the game and be assigned a loss

It goes on to say if certain conditions are met:

• Its playing is precluded by a decision by a government health authority.

• A team does not have 36 players to dress for the game.• A team does not have an individual ava

ilable to coach the offence and another individual to coach the defence.

• A team does not have a certified athletic therapist and sports medicine physician available for the game.

Included in the policy, and applicable to both above scenarios, if a team remains above the 85% threshold of at least partial vaccinations of its players, and a game has to be canceled, the team will receive their game checks.

On the other hand, if the team falls below 85%, no one on the team will be paid for that game.

As of Friday, the league has at least 79% of its players at least partially vaccinated, and announced Tuesday that 6,000 tests were administered to tier 1 employees including players, coaches, and support staff since July 15th, resulting in 0 positive tests.

The cancellation policy also says Ambrosie has the ability to cancel any game he chooses, after consulting the CFL’s Chief Medical Officer, and it’s Union.

Most of this was available in our previous article about the new rules, but seems to be an ongoing issue. If the CFLPA does move towards arbitration, we will have the latest updates for you here on CFL NewsHub.

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