Written by Jeff Euston
Friday, 02 February 2007 00:51
Duration - 3 years
- Feb. 28, 1968 – Owners and players agree to the first collective bargaining agreement in professional sports history and the first to provide for a minimum Major League salary. The Basic Agreement limits the power of owners to unilaterally establish or change rules governing the industry, requiring most changes to be agreed upon by owners and players as a result of collective bargaining. The agreement includes a Uniform Player Contract and establishes the first formal grievance procedure for settling labor disputes.
- Commissioner William Eckert
- MLB: John Gaherin (hired August 1967)
- Player Relations Committee as of August, 1967: AL President Joe Cronin (PRC chief), NL President Warren Giles, MLB attorney Bowie Kuhn, NY Mets’ Bing Devine, St. Louis’ Dick Meyer, Boston’s Tom Yawkey and Baltimore’s Jerry Hoffberger
- MLBPA: Executive Director Marvin Miller, General Counsel Richard Moss.
- Miller was hired in July, 1966, signing contract through 1968. In December, 1967, he signed a two-year extension through 1970.
- Player reps: Tim McCarver (STL), Joe Torre (ATL), Roberto Clemente (PIT), Jack Fisher (NYM), Steve Hamilton (NYY), Don Drysdale (LAD), Bill Freehan (DET), Jim Bunning (PHI), Jim Pagliaroni (PIT)
- Term: April 6, 1968 – April 5, 1970
- Minimum Salary: The Major League minimum salary is increased from $6,000 to $10,000 for 1968 and 1969.
- Reserve Clause: Owners and players agree to form a study group on changes to the Reserve Clause binding players to their clubs indefinitely.
- Arbitration: A grievance arbitration procedure is put in place for labor disputes. The final arbiter is the Commissioner.
- Pay Cuts: The maximum salary cut allowed is reduced from 25 to 20 percent.
- Severance Pay: Players who are released are entitled to 30 days’ pay.
- “Murphy Money”: Weekly stipend paid to players during spring training is increased to $40 (from $25, where it had been since 1947).
- Meal Money: The daily in-season allowance is increased from $12 to $15.
- Schedule: Owners and players agree to form a committee to study the possibility of returning to a 154-game schedule.
- Travel: First-class travel and hotel accommodations required.
- Pension: The first pension plan negotiated by Miller is to expire March 1969. That plan called for owners to contribute $4.1 million annually from national TV revenues from the World Series. Players needed five years of service to qualify. Miller argues that the owners’ contribution should increase, given baseball’s 1969 expansion by four clubs, and should keep pace with MLB’s increasing television revenue. As leverage in negotiations, he urged players not to report to spring training and not to sign contracts for 1969. At the urging of newly elected Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, owners ultimately agree to increase their annual contribution to $5.45 million annually and to reduce the time required to qualify from five years to four. The agreement on pensions runs through March 31, 1972.