League, union scheduled to start finalizing CBA tomorrow

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Football is back, but the labor issues of the past five months (or, as the case may be, three years) still aren’t completely resolved.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the league and the recertified union will begin talking about specific noneconomic work issues on Saturday.  Drug testing, benefits, and discipline reportedly are on the agenda.

Despite the open issues, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told PFT Live on Thursday that he anticipates no problems.  Still, a fight could be looming regarding the question of whether the personal conduct policy will apply retroactively, during the lockout.

As NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told PFT Live earlier in the week, “Something tells me our members are going to tell us to deal with that pretty aggressively.  I’ll just leave it at that.”

It’s likely a matter of time before the two sides get the remaining issues ironed out.  But there’s not unlimited time to make it happen.  The 2011 League Year is due to start by Thursday, August 4.  And the League Year can’t begin until the CBA is finished.