NFL, referees' union reach new collective bargaining agreement

The NFL and the NFL Referees Association (NFLRA) have reached a seven-year collective bargaining agreement that will run through May 31, 2026.

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The new deal, announced Saturday, between the league and the referees’ union was agreed upon via unanimous approval from the NFLRA Board of Directors. The vote was ratified by NFLRA membership Saturday, the league said.

“This agreement solidifies the working partnership between the league and officials toward the common goal of developing and training the best officials in the world,” NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said in a news release. “We will continue working together to provide fans, players and coaches with officiating performance that meets the highest standards demanded by the game.”

The deal between the two parties was set to expire in May 2020.

The collective bargaining agreement covers compensation and benefits issues and prioritizes efforts to train world-class officials.

“It was a mutual and cooperative effort that took over a year and a half, and the outcome is seven years of certainty for the league and our officials,” NFLRA Executive Director Scott Green said. “We appreciate Troy Vincent and his staff for recognizing that working together to find solutions is the best course of action to reach a long-term agreement.”

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NFLRA President Tony Steratore also praised the new deal.

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“We see this new CBA as a partnership with the league that benefits our membership but also seeks to make our game better,” the 20-year officiating veteran said. “We all must keep pace with the speed and skill of the players, not to mention the increased use of technology. It is good to get these negotiations behind us.”