NBA AND ITS REFS STILL AT AN IMPASSE
Negotiations between the NBA and its refs "remain at an
impasse," according to today's N.Y. TIMES. The sides have not
met since October 12, and as of yesterday, no new sessions had
been scheduled. If a new agreement is not reached before the
regular season opens November 3, the league plans to continue
using two-man replacement crews of college & CBA refs (Clifton
Brown, N.Y. TIMES, 10/24).
THE DETAILS: The sides are "far apart." Under terms of
their last contract, first year refs earned $68,000/ season, with
salaries increasing to $177,000 for those refs with 24+ years in
the league. The NBA refs want the range increased to $82,000 for
rookies in the first year of the deal, with that introductory
salary increasing to $112,000 by the final year of the deal.
Refs with 20+ years would earn up to $304,000. The league has
countered with a 10% across-the-board salary increase this
season, followed by 5% increases across the board for the
remaining years of the deal. NBA General Counsel Jeffrey
Mishkin: "We feel the referees deserve a salary increase, but we
can't do what they're asking." Agent Fred Slaughter, who is
representing the refs: "We've budged three times on our
proposal. The league has not budged yet. Meanwhile, the
integrity of the game is being threatened" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/24).