Friday, March 20, 2020

Reversed - MiLB Umpires Get Spring Financial Relief

A day after our report on Minor League Baseball's purported instruction that its umpires pay money to the league in the wake of Spring Training's COVID-19 prompted cancellation, MiLB, after consultation with MLB, changed its mind about the per diem issue and enforcement of the unemployment clause in the umpires-MiLB collective bargaining agreement.

Thursday, we remarked on the treatment disparity between minor league players, whom MLB's March 19 press release stated would receive allowances through (at least) the cancelled Spring Training period, and the umpires, who at the time had been ordered to write checks to the league office to account for per diem advances issued just days before professional baseball suspended operations.
Related PostViral Insult - Umpires Allegedly Ordered to Pay MiLB (3/19/20).

Minor League umps can now keep their cash.
24 hours later, it appears that MiLB's original call to prevent umpires from keeping their Spring Training allowances has been overturned, bringing the policy in line with MLB's announcement in regard to minor league players.

In addition to allowing MiLB Spring Training umpires to keep their advanced per diem payments, the reversed decision also purportedly includes an agreement to waive, with certain limitation, the unemployment clause in the CBA.

Instead of the previous posture that filing a claim for unemployment insurance or compensation based on MiLB's suspended operations and lack of work would effectively tender that umpire's resignation from affiliated baseball, MiLB Umpire Development will now reportedly allow its umpires in full-season leagues (e.g., Class-A, Double-A, Triple-A) to file for unemployment as of Minor League Baseball's originally-scheduled Opening Day (April 9).

Umps out of school or in short ball will wait.
Because short-season umpires (Rookie ball and so-called "Short-A") would not have reported until their respective leagues kicked off later in the summer, those umpires remain bound by the unemployment clause until their originally-scheduled report date (or what it originally would have been), upon which time they may become eligible for unemployment clause relief, just as the full season umpires will be starting April 9.

Naturally, all parties involved hope that will not become necessary as baseball hopes to get going before the dog days of summer are upon us.

The League also purportedly increased per-game pay for Spring Training games, for those minor league umpires assigned to MLB games, and all umpires scheduled for full MLB Spring Training (see below link for a list of Spring invitees and call-ups) received appropriate compensation.
Related Post2020 MLB Spring Training Umpire Roster (2/28/20).

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: MiLB Reverses Decision, Will Allow Umps to Keep Per Diems (CCS)


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