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Union loses grievance over cancellation of health benefits

The NFLPA has had a rough two days in the litigation department.

A day after a Special Master ruled that the NFL will be permitted to retain roughly $4 billion in network TV money in the event of a lockout, an arbitrator has denied a grievance aimed at preventing the league from cutting off the players’ health insurance benefits upon implementation of a lockout.

We’ve obtained a copy of the ruling, which makes clear that, once a lockout is imposed, the owners will be permitted to cut off the players’ health insurance benefits.

That said, they’ll have access to COBRA coverage for up to 18 months.  But the players will have to pay the full premiums out of their own pockets.  Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee recently said that ongoing coverage for his family will cost roughly $3,000 per month.

The end result?  More leverage for the owners.

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52 Responses to “Union loses grievance over cancellation of health benefits”
  1. hobartbaker says: Feb 2, 2011 6:11 PM

    However, the Special Master denied the owners application to cut off the air the players breath and the water they drink. As long as they are sensible about the amounts they use.

  2. jw731 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:13 PM

    So if Fujita has to shell out 3 g’s….What’s Cromarties, 300 g’s a month?

  3. sc2115 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:14 PM

    So the owners get to keep their money despite not putting out a product which they promised, but the players get their health care cut-off? How does that make any sense?

  4. jwil444 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:15 PM

    Thank God for Obamacare!

  5. idroidx says: Feb 2, 2011 6:16 PM

    Woah! God forbid Albert Haynesworth pays $3,000/month from that $21 million bonus he got last year.

  6. daytonaken says: Feb 2, 2011 6:21 PM

    Scott Fujita, a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee recently said that ongoing coverage for his family will cost roughly $3,000 per month. My heart bleeds for these anal pores. Welcome to the world too many out-of-work families live in. With all the money the NFL generates yearly the owners and players can’t agree on a contract? Are you kidding me? Perhaps it’s time for the fans to speak out against these greedy bastards.

  7. dcninerfan says: Feb 2, 2011 6:26 PM

    If workers decide to go on strike, why should they get bennifets for NOT working? Duh.

  8. cincinnasti says: Feb 2, 2011 6:29 PM

    The union has no leverage. They should just accept what the owners are offering and move on.

  9. jc1958coo says: Feb 2, 2011 6:29 PM

    thats pft for you every time i put a bad comment about the owners it’s erased in less than 4 minutes! f#%k y@U too!

  10. jc1958coo says: Feb 2, 2011 6:32 PM

    it’s a lock out idiot! dcinerfan union wants to keep the agreement they had through 2011! check your facts

  11. steelerzzzrule says: Feb 2, 2011 6:33 PM

    Do what!!!! How am I supposed to pay for my heathcare on top of my 18 car payments, My 20 gallon shark tank, My personal chef, and the payments on my gold teeth. This is ludacrist!!!

  12. jc1958coo says: Feb 2, 2011 6:34 PM

    who gave albert that bonus the union???? OMG

  13. ilovefoolsball says: Feb 2, 2011 6:35 PM

    $3,000? GEEZ THAT’S A LOT! Let’s see, he signed a contract for what $5 Mil a year when he left the Saints? Man he’s going to be really hurting.

  14. commandercornpone says: Feb 2, 2011 6:37 PM

    3k? might i suggest any number of vastly cheaper alternatives…

    500 for my health charges per month including medicare, i mean, just another tax.

    in reality, thank God for Judge Roger Vinson.

  15. bigperm33 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:46 PM

    Let’s not gloss over this – there is $4 BILLION in tv money, yet the league and the owners say they need MORE money from the players? I know it is ugly from both sides, but this entire situation is owner/league driven. At what point do we all start telling the owners, the league, and Goodell that they are so far out of line in this it is absurd. again – $4 BILLION in tv money!

  16. scytherius says: Feb 2, 2011 6:47 PM

    F888 the owners.

  17. raider316 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:47 PM

    While you are bashing Al Davis I just thought I’ll let you all know that he pays for his players health insurance. So they won’t be getting cut off from theirs. Sorry about the rest of the NFL!

  18. slickster35 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:48 PM

    This is what happens when unions run amuck.

  19. bigperm33 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:48 PM

    and @dcninerfan – they players are not going on strike. The owners are stopping them from working. There is a difference between a strike and a lockout. If it were up to the players, they would keep playing, they would keep going with the current system – a system again that has produced a $4 billion deal for the league in tv money. Yet goodell and company are trying to act like they are getting the short end of the stick. All that TV money, the only major professional sport without guaranteed contracts. A hard salary cap. Other than possibly a rookie wage scale, I don’t for the life of me understand what the owners and the league want more out of the players other than simply more money to add to the piles of cash they are already making from the sport.

  20. scytherius says: Feb 2, 2011 6:49 PM

    @dcninerfan
    If workers decide to go on strike, why should they get bennifets for NOT working? Duh.

    ====================

    I don’t understand why people like you hate fellow human beings and refuse to read and absorb facts. The owners canceled the CBA 2 years early and THEY are threatening lock out. That is NOT a strike. Duh (to steal a quote).

    I guess people like you LOVE billionaires sticking it to working people.

    People like you disgust me.

  21. unionslie says: Feb 2, 2011 6:52 PM

    The owners hold all the power because they have all the power. Lets be honest, if the teams rolled out with rosters filled with former practice squaderss and undrafted free agents we, the fans, will still watch! We love our respective teams a lot more than we love the individual players. Sure we’d miss Peyton, Tom, and a few others (who cares abot Fujita) but we’d get over it a lot quicker than you think. The union and players have to realize their actual worth, give a little and get the deal done.

  22. jamie54 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:53 PM

    These guys were told time and time again, probably starting two years ago, save your money if/when there’s a lockout. No surprise, dummies, you had plenty of time to put the money aside and plan for it.

  23. sc2115 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:53 PM

    If workers decide to go on strike, why should they get bennifets for NOT working? Duh.

    Because its not a strike, its a lockout. Meaning the players WANT to work, but the owners refuse to let them. And yet those same owners get to keep their TV money.

  24. sc2115 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:55 PM

    I’m really curious why my first comment got so many negative responses. In what world does it make sense that the owners sill get paid a huge amount of money if they shut down the NFL, but he players don’t get a pittance of that money to get health insurance? Are PFT readers really so thick that they can’t understand how this doesn’t make sense?

  25. skoobyfl says: Feb 2, 2011 7:05 PM

    If Travis Henry was still in the league, he’d be out $15,000 a month. He’s now riding with PA, (Public Assistance).

  26. tdb123tdb says: Feb 2, 2011 7:20 PM

    “I guess people like you LOVE billionaires sticking it to working people.”

    Huh? I think you need to check your definition of working people. Guys making tens of millions of dollars to play a game are not what I would characterize as working people.

  27. unionslie says: Feb 2, 2011 7:20 PM

    SC2115, try and open your brain for a second and comprehend this: The money the NFL will make through contracts it holds is simply that. The players are simply employees and have no right to that money. The fact that the NFL was able to convince the TV networks to sign contracts that pay out regardless if there is a product or not, will that was just smart business (it’s actually more of a loan, but that doesn’t matter for this).

    If you’re employer said he would lower your salary for the next year and you said that was not ok, you would get fired – and upon getting fired you no longer recieve benefits. wow. what a surprise?

  28. voiceofrealism says: Feb 2, 2011 7:24 PM

    @SC2115…

    It is silly that the owners still get the tv money with no product, but that doesn’t mean the players should money for not playing as well. Sorry, but owners and players are not equal. players are employees. Of course if the players want to invest a billion or two to buy a team, they can get a return on their investment too.

  29. therealkelito says: Feb 2, 2011 7:26 PM

    Solving disputes is all rational give and take:

    1. Give the owners their 18 game season, but absolutely no preseason. Two bye weeks for recovery= 20 week season (1 week less than current 17 reg and 4 pre). Season ticketholders hate having to pay for preseason anyway. College teams are ready week 1, why aren’t pro’s?

    2. Rookie Salary Cap. It’s obviously needed, eveyone knows it. But in return teams must remove all franchise tags. End of a contract is the end of a contract. Period.

    3. All player and team fines go to player pensions and long term health care pool rather than charities determined by NFL. Last year it was over $4 million, that’s basically an annual premium on a collective long term health policy. Players qualify for healthcare after 4 years in the league.

    Done. Now get back on the field.

  30. wizahdry says: Feb 2, 2011 7:32 PM

    Perhaps the union needs better attorneys. They keep at it and the NFL might get the players to pay them just to come back and play.

  31. dcninerfan says: Feb 2, 2011 7:45 PM

    You morons screaming about a “lock-out” must realize its because the union refuses to budge on anything and wants it all their own way. Seriously, if I was in negotiation with someone and sought common ground, even willing to make concessions, and if they refused to budge at all, negotiations would be severed, and it wouldn’t be my fault.

    The union won’t agree to a rookie wage scale, the union is against a cap (in general terms), the union wants even MORE pay for players, when they already get more than 50% of the total revenue, after all expenses.

    Wait a minute, you mean workers are getting more than half the revenue from a company? You find me one other non-sport industry as big as the NFL that does that… You can’t.

    As one of the Union lackey morons above said, look up some facts once in a while.

  32. backindasaddle says: Feb 2, 2011 8:17 PM

    Ohhhh….I feel soooooo bad for poor Scott Fugita. The poor baby will have to pay $3000/month for health care after he’s been cashing game checks of about 40 or 50 times that for years. Pooooooor baby. Those mean Robber Baron owners are just abusing these poor downtrodden poverty stricken souls.

  33. ninerfan94954 says: Feb 2, 2011 8:33 PM

    This is a lose- lose, the average citizen is not going to feel any compassion for people who generally make incredible salaries at a young age arguing with multi millionaires and billionaires. Man up- sit down face to face- and each side leave a little on the table. When employment opportunities for the average american are basically part time /no benefit gigs do you really think there is going to be any amount of compassion for either side…only resentment- don’t shoot your golden goose.

  34. sc2115 says: Feb 2, 2011 8:39 PM

    If you’re employer said he would lower your salary for the next year and you said that was not ok, you would get fired – and upon getting fired you no longer recieve benefits. wow. what a surprise?

    Except that there is no other business in the world that works in this manner. If an employer fires the employee on which he relies on 100% of his product, he wouldn’t still get paid for that product.

  35. sc2115 says: Feb 2, 2011 8:47 PM

    SC2115, try and open your brain for a second and comprehend this: The money the NFL will make through contracts it holds is simply that. The players are simply employees and have no right to that money.

    Except that its the PLAYERS that make the league. The NFL is what it is because it has the best football players in the world. The XFL, UFL, and AFL proved that the game of football alone is not enough to generate interest, you need to put out the best product, which is what the NFL players do. I dare the owners to try and use replacement players next year, their ratings will be crap and they’ll lose a ton of money.

    And now, despite record profits, the league claims that they need an even higher percentage of the pie from those same players, while at the same time demanding that they work more by expanding the season. All this while they get fat off games broadcast on the public airwaves and from the revenue streams generated by stadiums built with billions in public money. And for some reason a majority of the idiots who read this site seem to be siding with these owners. Really incredible.

  36. sc2115 says: Feb 2, 2011 8:48 PM

    Sorry, but owners and players are not equal. players are employees.

    The players make the system work. Without them there is no NFL. And in no other business would the owner still get paid for NOT putting out their promised product.

  37. dcninerfan says: Feb 2, 2011 9:00 PM

    You morons screaming about a “lock-out” must realize its because the union refuses to budge on anything and wants it all their own way. Seriously, if I was in negotiation with someone and sought common ground, even willing to make concessions, and if they refused to budge at all, negotiations would be severed, and it wouldn’t be my fault.

    The union won’t agree to a rookie wage scale, the union is against a cap (in general terms), the union wants even MORE pay for players, when they already get more than 50% of the total revenue, after all expenses.

    Wait a minute, you mean workers are getting more than half the revenue from a company? You find me one other non-sport industry as big as the NFL that does that… You can’t.

    As one of the Union lackey morons above said, look up some facts once in a while.

  38. sc2115 says: Feb 2, 2011 9:04 PM

    Lets be honest, if the teams rolled out with rosters filled with former practice squaderss and undrafted free agents we, the fans, will still watch!

    Ya, how did that work for the XFL? Or the UFL? Or the Arena League? All of those leagues were made up of scrubs and has beens, and they all lost a ton of money and collapsed. The talent of the players is what makes the NFL so successful.

  39. sc2115 says: Feb 2, 2011 9:07 PM

    the union wants even MORE pay for players

    FALSE! The union is fine with the current situation. They are being asked/extorted in to giving up money, while at the same time the owners demand that they work more. That’s not good faith negotiation.

    Wait a minute, you mean workers are getting more than half the revenue from a company? You find me one other non-sport industry as big as the NFL that does that… You can’t.

    Oh boo hoo! The poor owners are only raking in billions of dollars per year thanks to the sweat and talents of the players. Woe is them! They only get billions in public money to build their stadiums. Poor babies.

  40. rcali says: Feb 2, 2011 9:13 PM

    There are other football jobs out there. Arena, UFL, and CFL. Of course these jobs pay less. Welcome to the new economy.

  41. bigbluefan1 says: Feb 2, 2011 9:14 PM

    4 Billion split by 32 teams
    Real teams have to pay notes on the Stadiums they paid for

    More then 50% of earning going to the help are you kidding me and that is just the players cut not the coaches the trainers the ball boys the office staff ticket sales so on and so on.
    Teams do have bills other then paying players how do the lights come on who pays those bills there are tons of bills not related to the players.

    This is a right to work country you take what the boss wants to give or you walk away
    BYE BYE

  42. sc2115 says: Feb 2, 2011 9:19 PM

    It is silly that the owners still get the tv money with no product, but that doesn’t mean the players should money for not playing as well.

    I see. So the people who are creating this bad situation should be rewarded for their outright greed and stupidity, but those who just want to keep things going and play (and, coincidentally, the one’s who actually make the product good) get punished. That makes a ton of sense!

  43. mick730 says: Feb 2, 2011 9:26 PM

    Hey, sc2115, mind telling us the name of the billionaire owner of the Green Bay Packers? And for your information, there are at least three players on the current Green Bay roster who pulled down more in salary than the Packer franchise made in 2009. How does that fit your arguement? The organization’s bottom line is falling off the cliff while at the same time, player costs are going right through the roof, and this is for one of the youngest teams in the league. My guess is that there are a number of teams, if not most of the teams, now find themselves in a similar situation.

    I know for a fact that the McCaskey’s in Chicago and the Rooney’s in Pitt are not “billionaires”. Maybe Jerry Jones is one, perhaps the Ford family, although I doubt it. Who are all these billionaire owners you keep spouting off about?

    Yes, the NFL receives “billions” in revenue, but the players currently get 56% of NFL revenues. Do you know the differnece between revenue and net income? Probably not.

  44. garyman1 says: Feb 2, 2011 9:30 PM

    I guess I would be interested what the TV networks think that will apparently have to shell out $4B for no product.

  45. wtfru2 says: Feb 2, 2011 9:32 PM

    I get it, the union had to hire union attorneys and they were on their mandatory break when the briefs were filed. That explains it all.

  46. advocado5 says: Feb 2, 2011 9:44 PM

    @Mick – Jerry Jones(Cowboys), Arthur Blank(Falcons), Ford(Lions), Dan Snyder(Redskins), and Paul Allen(Seahawks) are “rich”. The rest have investors and have companies on the side that make up the difference in financial loses. Its not like OMG they make millions of dollars on football. No they make it on advertising and apparel sales.

  47. advocado5 says: Feb 2, 2011 9:45 PM

    @Mick: I’m backing your argument.

  48. 44 management says: Feb 2, 2011 11:03 PM

    For all of those who are still speaking…WRONGLY! The TV money ($4 billion) is NOT going to the owners for not playing football in 2011. It is an accounting measure. The owners will be getting MORE (more than $4 billion) money if the NFL plays football this fall. Because the payments are pro-rated over time or over the life of the contract, the deal was structured to pay the owners $4billion in the event of a work stoppage, and more if not.

    To use an expression already used by many, DUH!!!

  49. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Feb 2, 2011 11:10 PM

    Halftime:

    League 42

    Union 0

    The Union better make some halftime adjustments. They, like their lawyers, are getting trounced.

    Players better look in the mirror and ask what happens to their finances and limited careers if they take a year or two off work. Few of the players can make similar money elsewhere.

  50. benh999 says: Feb 3, 2011 2:28 AM

    Meanwhile, people with salaries that are less than Fujita’s yearly capital gains pay out of pocket for their health insurance. Poor Scott.

  51. rgreeley33 says: Feb 3, 2011 3:29 PM

    People get too caught up in the media-driven “Billionaires vs. Millionaires” hype with this. It just comes down to business. The NFL Owners (who, by the way are the employers because the teams are their companies) don’t want the players (who are employees and work for their bosses, the owners) to get as large a cut of the pie. The NFL has the highest % of revenues paid out to players, almost 60%. That’s more than the NbA, MLb, and NHL. Player salaries have grown at levels much higher than revenues over the last 20 years. Its not sustainable (and doesnt matter whose fault it is, at the end the bosses will make the business decisions), and the NFL owners know this. If we were talking about a landscaping company or electrician business or mom-n-pop shop, and 60% of profits were going to employees, I find it hard to believe anyone self-righteous person would say “good for them”. The owners have all the leverage, and the NFLPA has gotten too much and is going to have to give something back. NFL teams are not 501(c) 3 organizations. They, like all private businesses in a capitalistic society like the US are in it to make a profit. To knock them for that, because of the ridiculous numbers we are talking about, seems silly to me.

  52. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Feb 7, 2011 12:19 PM

    We will not play 18 games, I promise you.

    The fan doesn’t want 18 games and neither do we. It is the sticking point people.

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