WASHINGTON, D.C. — Acting FMCS Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh today issued the following statement regarding the ratification of a collective bargaining agreement between the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) and the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA):
“I am pleased to announce that late last night I was notified that the membership of the Professional Soccer Referees Association has ratified its first collective bargaining agreement with the Professional Referee Organization. I have also been informed that Executive Board of PRO has approved the contract. The ratification vote was held following the achievement of a tentative agreement late Tuesday night at the conclusion of two additional days of lengthy mediation conducted under the auspices of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
‘The approval of this agreement between the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) and the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA) ends the work stoppage affecting professional soccer in the United States and Canada that began nearly two weeks ago. First contracts sometimes pose difficult challenges as the parties seek to define the parameters of a new formal relationship. The leadership of both organizations and their representatives at the bargaining table deserve praise for their patience and willingness to focus on mutually acceptable solutions. I can assure soccer fans everywhere that both parties remained committed and focused upon their shared goal of contributing to the continuous improvement and growth of professional soccer in North America.
“I also want to thank the spokespersons and representatives from both PRO and PSRA for their cooperation and affirmative interaction with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. It was gratifying to work with them in their mutual effort, first to fully understand their differences and then to jointly explore ways those differences could be bridged and resolved. The representatives from the PRO and PSRA showed professionalism and perseverance by choosing to manage their differences in a positive and productive way. As a result, the credit for this positive outcome belongs to them. Having made difficult choices together, ultimately, their perseverance was rewarded with this new agreement.
“Finally, I want to express my gratitude for the assistance and support provided by my colleague, Director of Mediation Services for the Northeast Sub-Region, Jack Sweeney. Jack’s experience and wisdom were extremely beneficial at multiple critical points in the mediation process.”
Consistent with its longstanding policy, the FMCS will have no further comment on the negotiations or the terms of the agreement.