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Ravens reverse course on employee pay cuts

SteveBisciottiGetty Getty Images

On Wednesday, we pointed out that the Ravens quietly had cut employee pay by 25 percent during the lockout, with the understanding that the money would be refunded if no regular-season games are missed.

As we said at the time:  “Of all the owners in the league, we would have placed Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti at the very bottom of a list of owners likely to allow their non-player employees to be caught in the crossfire of the league’s first work stoppage in 24 years.  With the uncapped year allowing teams to pocket a lot of money that would have otherwise gone to player salaries and/or specific benefits that disappeared, teams could have — and should have — set aside a chunk of that money to help finance the non-player workforce during the lockout.”

Earlier today on PFT Live, I was a bit less tactful and a bit more animated regarding the decision of multiple teams to take money away from men and women who have no responsibility for the lockout.  (You can click the box in the upper right corner of any PFT page to watch the show.)

Well, someone is listening.  Or maybe it’s just a coincidence.  (The smart money is on “coincidence.”  But that won’t stop us from trying to take at least partial credit.)

A source with knowledge of the situation tells us that the Ravens have reversed course, returning the employees to full pay and refunding all withheld compensation immediately.

It’s an admirable move by Bisciotti, and we urge every other franchise to do the same thing.  These employees didn’t cause this fight, and they don’t want this fight.  They’re trying to pay their bills and feed their families.  Every NFL team made more than enough money in 2010 to take care of their non-player employees in 2011.  And if one or two teams truly can’t afford to do the right thing, then the other teams should chip in.

We realize that the NFL wants to use the lockout in order to get a favorable labor deal from the players.  That doesn’t mean the so-called “shared sacrifice” should be shared by the people who gain nothing from this labor dispute — and thus should lose nothing.

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33 Responses to “Ravens reverse course on employee pay cuts”
  1. brutus9448 says: May 26, 2011 2:16 PM

    why are these employees any different from all other americans that have had to make sacrifices during the economic downturn

  2. playerbeware says: May 26, 2011 2:26 PM

    As upper management in the dolphin Organization like to say ” we are in the entertainment business” They dont say FOOTBALL but entertainment. The people who dont put on the pads should not suffer for the owners being ego driven.

    This is becoming one big joke to the owners. At first I was against the players but as I read and learn more. Shame on the owners for being jerks and treating the fans as asses.

  3. donterrelli says: May 26, 2011 2:27 PM

    Aye, Cap’n

  4. chapnastier says: May 26, 2011 2:28 PM

    Again someone who has never owned a business thinking that employees should be paid even if there is a chance of a huge hit to the company’s income. I don’t understand why people think that employees should always get paid regardless of money coming into a company.

  5. seatown12 says: May 26, 2011 2:29 PM

    Is anyone on here actually a team employee? Are you at liberty to share your thoughts?

  6. ravenution says: May 26, 2011 2:35 PM

    brutus9448 says:
    May 26, 2011 2:16 PM
    why are these employees any different from all other americans that have had to make sacrifices during the economic downturn

    Because those employees didn’t ask for this fight, stupid.

  7. achilles718 says: May 26, 2011 2:35 PM

    I truly do not understand people who have no sympathy for these employees getting their salaries cut. Should these people be any different than anyone else with this economy? No, they shouldn’t, and they aren’t.
    If a company has to cut salaries so the business can stay open, then it’s necessary. But the NFL and all the teams are not in a situation where they may have to close up shop or declare bankruptcy, it’s far from that. That’s why a feel bad for all these team employees. Their is no financial or economic reason to cut their pay.

  8. moochzilla says: May 26, 2011 2:36 PM

    And when the first preseason game is canceled, he’s fully within his right to enact these measures without any criticism from me on the issue. Fair enough?

  9. ThatGuy says: May 26, 2011 2:37 PM

    brutus9448 – Because the NFL hasn’t had an economic down turn, they make an obscene amount of money and just argueing over how to divide it.

  10. tundey says: May 26, 2011 2:37 PM

    ” Every NFL team made more than enough money in 2010 to take care of their non-player employees in 2011.”

    You know this for a fact? In fact, didn’t most teams accelerate players salaries from future years into last year so they can wipe them off the slate? Except for the Bucs, of course. So how can you say *every* NFL team made more than enough money in 2010.

  11. ravenution says: May 26, 2011 2:37 PM

    chapnastier says:
    May 26, 2011 2:28 PM
    Again someone who has never owned a business thinking that employees should be paid even if there is a chance of a huge hit to the company’s income. I don’t understand why people think that employees should always get paid regardless of money coming into a company.

    How is it that someone, that doesn’t even have a job and wastes his life posting on here, is telling owners and employees should be doing. LOL!!!

  12. smacklayer says: May 26, 2011 2:44 PM

    Let me know when the players/partners start chipping in to help.

  13. hobartbaker says: May 26, 2011 2:50 PM

    “To steal a morsel from hungry mouthes – Nevermore.”. Quoth the Ravens.

  14. hamburghlar says: May 26, 2011 2:51 PM

    The Ravens will do anything to be more like the Steelers… Except win Super Bowls. But this is a start, I guess.

  15. stuartscottslefteye says: May 26, 2011 2:52 PM

    Perhaps the employees shouldn’t be paid – they definitely shouldn’t be required to be paid – but you can’t fault them if they have a generous boss/owner. Is it a financially wise decision by the owner? – only time will tell but goodwill by a caring owner may be a short-term cost and a long-term gain…

  16. ralphshere says: May 26, 2011 2:54 PM

    Takes a big man to change his mind in a public fishbowl. Good onya Steve!

  17. zoxitic says: May 26, 2011 2:56 PM

    ravenution says:

    “How is it that someone, that doesn’t even have a job and wastes his life posting on here,…………”
    ______________________________

    Do I HAVE to point out the idiocy in that statement or is it self explanatory?

  18. steelergold says: May 26, 2011 2:56 PM

    Once again the Raven’s reverse themselves under a little pressure.

  19. playerbeware says: May 26, 2011 3:15 PM

    seatown12 says:
    May 26, 2011 2:29 PM
    Is anyone on here actually a team employee? Are you at liberty to share your thoughts?

    I was

  20. robertallen1958 says: May 26, 2011 3:33 PM

    people, this just shows the GREED of the owners who cut the wages, the owners haven’t lost a thing yet, in fact they have GAINED, they still are demanding the season tickets be paid, and have not paid any bonuses or contracts of the players, not free agent signings, nothing they are cutting employee wages because they can, and the thing that gets me most is it really isn’t that much to a billionaire, a drop in a bucket

  21. wetpaperbag2 says: May 26, 2011 3:34 PM

    Because most employers don’t “lockout” the most expensive employees but retain the remaining “cheaper” employers at a reduced salary.

  22. rcali says: May 26, 2011 3:51 PM

    How are these owners suppose to feed their families if they put back the employees benefits?

  23. rayala3 says: May 26, 2011 4:17 PM

    Would be a great PR move for the NFL.

  24. doe22us says: May 26, 2011 4:21 PM

    Interesting, I usually go to two-three Ravens games each season, when i heard they were going to withold employee paychecks i seriously considered not going (of course that depends on if the is a season at all). Good to know that Mr Biscoti has reversed course

  25. granadafan says: May 26, 2011 4:24 PM

    All the owners have to do is lift the lockout and everyone goes back to work. The players are not striking though it takes two to make a negotiation and they are not without blame. As for cutting pay, a 25% reduction is much better than a 100% paycut (ie., layoff).

  26. Deb says: May 26, 2011 4:36 PM

    brutus9448 says:
    why are these employees any different from all other americans that have had to make sacrifices during the economic downturn
    ———————————————–
    Because the owners of their companies have not suffered any financial loss during the downturn, but in fact, have experienced record gains. And because their owners are the author of their own shutdown! All they have to do is end the lockout and return to the previous CBA, and they’re back with the same revenue structure that brought them record profits.

    @chapnastier …

    Where do you get that Mike has never owned a business? That guy left his law practice to begin this enterprise from nothing. Do you have any idea what a blog that draws approximately million unique site visitors and 40 million page views a month is worth??????

  27. Deb says: May 26, 2011 4:38 PM

    Oops, chap, that was supposed to be approximately 8 million unique site visitors and 40 million page views a month. Mike has done well for himself.

  28. sneaky1632 says: May 26, 2011 4:48 PM

    Maybe they will blame the Bears for it and demand the pay the sallaries.

  29. ravenunitas says: May 26, 2011 6:10 PM

    Maybe you should go back to school and learn to spell idiot.

  30. hobartbaker says: May 26, 2011 6:50 PM

    “8 million unique site visitors” here? Dang.

    Can you guys spare me a dollar?

  31. kcfanatic says: May 26, 2011 6:52 PM

    chapnastier says:
    May 26, 2011 2:28 PM
    Again someone who has never owned a business thinking that employees should be paid even if there is a chance of a huge hit to the company’s income. I don’t understand why people think that employees should always get paid regardless of money coming into a company.
    ————————————————–

    Actually, that is exactly what should happen. Both players and all other EMPLOYEES should be paid no matter if the company produces more or less in a given year. That’s why they are EMPLOYEES and not PARTNERS. A partner gets a %. An employee gets their contract negotiated pay. The players are employees just like the secretary. They are both very important to the business, but aren’t planning on giving any money back if the economy of the NFL takes a hit.

  32. valman61 says: May 26, 2011 9:03 PM

    I’m very tired of people here attempting to correlate the NFL and this lockout to your average company during a recession. First of all the NFL has suffered no economic damage. Their profits are record high and have shown constant growth for 20 years. Why do you think you never hear ownership say they opted out of the CBA and imposed a lockout due to failing franchises, lack of revenue, or net losses. I heard John Mara say no team is losing money. They are simply making less. Next the NFL has not shutdown operations. They as of now will not play games, but they are still actively selling tickets, making advertising and licensing deals, building stadiums, etc. The employees who are not players still have responsibilities to perform, for the most part. Also the NfL receives countless subsidies, tax breaks, anti-trust exemptions, and other preferential treatment concerning tax dollars because their business boosts the economy and creates jobs. They are not subjected to the same rules as a normal business. How many businesses do you know where the govt funds 50% or more of corporate headquarters? None. I agree the owners are entitled to collectively bargain with players, impose a lockout, and get the best deal possible to generate the most net income to their bottom line. However comparing the NFL to a normal business and this lockout to a recession is ignorant. They are two entirely different situations based off of entirely different circumstances.

    To cut your regular employee who makes peanuts compared to their overall revenue is wrong. They need to cut expenses cause they are losing money due to the lockout? Please. They made enough off of there tv deals to collectively pay these employees for 20 years. They make enough off one regular season game to pay these people for a year. This is greed in it’s purist form and I am outraged any team would conduct business this way.

    When a player gets fined for off field issues, they say it tarnishes the leagues image. They don’t seem to be concerned about their image today, now do they. A player can commit serious crimes and it wouldn’t tarnish my perception of the leagues image. This however, shows me all I need to know about their image. Disgraceful. I won’t even say good job to the teams who

  33. raven4life21 says: May 28, 2011 8:54 AM

    hamburghlar says:
    May 26, 2011 2:51 PM
    The Ravens will do anything to be more like the Steelers… Except win Super Bowls. But this is a start, I guess.

    ok so im pretty sure that the goal of EVERY NFL TEAM is to WIN SUPERBOWLS… the Steelers have 6… one of the most… and YES the Ravens would LOVE to be like the Steelers and have a consistently WINNING FRANCHISE and a bunch of SB Rings… you wanna say the Packers and Forty Niners are trying to be like the Steelers too??? how about the Cowboys?? gimme a break… that argument is old and ridiculous… if your talkin about the purple towel thing yes i thought it was pretty stupid but it was just for “sike out” purposes and as you saw didn’t work and was only for that game… the teams are similar in the way they play with great defenses and semi-ok offenses… just because they are similar doesn’t mean they are trying everything to be like them… you could say that about many teams… we are just one of the teams that can hit just as hard and even harder at times and NEVER back down… plus we can’t be like them yet… cuz we dont’ have the refs giving us half the game most of the time… until then… we just can’t be like them… im sorry

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