Minor League players approve historic first collective bargaining agreement

Minor League players approve historic first collective bargaining agreement


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NEW YORK, March 31 -- The Major League Baseball Players Association today announced that its full Minor League Player membership has voted overwhelmingly to approve a historic first collective bargaining agreement. The deal will be final upon formal ratification by Major League Baseball’s owners.

More than 99% of the thousands of Minor Leaguers who cast ballots voted to ratify the deal, which will vastly improve the compensation and working conditions for all Minor League Players.

“The agreement represents a giant step forward in treating Minor League Players as the elite professional athletes that they are,” Executive Director Tony Clark said. “It’s a historic day for these Players, their families and the entire Player fraternity.”

Highlights of the 2023-2027 agreement include:

Significant pay increases beginning immediately (baseline annual salaries will more than double at all levels)

A new Minor League pay structure guaranteeing Players will be paid for the work they perform all year long (including retroactive pay for Spring Training 2023)

Starting in 2024, further improvements to the recently instituted Minor League housing policy

Improved transportation policies, including daily transportation to and from the field, individual travel, and team travel

Increased per diem and the creation of a committee to oversee meal quality

A shorter reserve clause for Players entering the system at 19 or older

The return of Players’ right to profit off their Name, Image, and Likeness, enabling the MLBPA to create a group licensing program

Improved medical rights, including second opinion rights and a longer period when medical expenses will be covered following injuries

Improved health benefits, including extended health coverage upon contract termination

Improved retirement benefits, including a new 401(k) plan

The right to neutral arbitration under certain circumstances and a “just cause” standard for Player discipline

The creation of new joint MLBPA/MLB committees, including a Health and Safety Committee, an On-Field Committee, and a Minor League Special Events Committee

Limitations on the league’s ability to reduce the size the domestic reserve list during the term of the CBA

A guarantee that the league will not contract Minor League affiliates during the term of the CBA

Minor League Players unionized under the banner of the MLBPA following a 17-day organizing drive that resulted in voluntary recognition on Sept. 9, 2022. Negotiations on a CBA began in October.

“Every past and present member of the MLBPA is proud today,” Clark said. “This extraordinary group of Players has been singularly determined, unified, educated, and engaged in the best traditions of our fraternity. Their legacy will live on for decades.”

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