Members of the National Football League Players Association will vote Wednesday on whether to ratify a five-year collective bargaining agreement, Ed Garvey, NFLPA executive director, announced last night.
In a statement, Garvey said player representatives from the NFL's 28 teams would be polled last night and today on whether to recommend ratification of the Nov. 16 settlement, which ended the union's 57-day strike against the league. The recommendation of the player representatives is not binding on the general membership.
Players will sign their ballots, which then will be collected by their reprsentatives and sent to the NFLPA's office in Washington.
Since the two sides agreed on a tentative settlement in New York, Garvey and union officials have met periodically with management negotiators and with Paul Martha, a Pittsburgh lawyer who served as an intermediary in the final stages of the talks, in an effort to clarify language and clear up remaining issues.
In his statement yesterday, Garvey said he and Martha agreed yesterday "that agreement had been reached on all outstanding bargaining issues. There will be no further negotiations."
However, management has been saying since Nov. 16 that the deal reached in New York was a complete agreement and that there would be no further modifications.
Garvey said yesterday, "I believe great progress has been made and we have a much better agreement to present to the members now than we did on Nov. 16." He said a summary of the negotiations since Nov. 16 will be sent to all players Monday.
The union said Garvey would not be available to discuss in what ways the agreement differs from the Nov. 16 settlement.
Among the outstanding issues had been the length of the season, the status of unfair labor practice complaints pending against the NFL, players' rights to sue the league as individuals and the continuation of the college draft in its present form through 1992.