Jeff Pash on negotiations: “We are prepared to continue discussing all of the issues”

NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash spoke with the media after today’s session at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS).   Following is a transcript: 

Transcript of NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash

3/9/11 – Washington, DC

We just finishedanother full day with the mediator and the Players Association and we’ll be back tomorrow morning to continue these negotiations. I think you know the discussions are getting into the most significant issues and so these are the most serious discussions that we’re going to be having and we’re looking forward to getting back to it for another full day of work and we’ll stay at it and hopefully make some progress on this.

On financial disclosure:

The financial disclosure issue was not discussed further across the table. The union knows what we’ve proposed to do, what we’ve proposed to make available.  We understand their position and so we’re on to other subjects.

On NFLPA claiming it seeks more financial transparency before ‘being forced to write a $5 billion check’:

Well, no one is asking anyone to write any checks, I think we’ve been quite clear on that. I know what his words are; I’m just saying no one’s asking the Players Association or individual players to write any checks. It is a fact that the Players Association in the course of these negotiations has received more and more detailed financial information than it has ever had before. Has it gotten everything it wants? Evidently not. Have we offered to provide more? Absolutely. And is it a subject that we’re prepared to discuss? Absolutely. Where we are right now, it remains a fact that indisputably so that the Players Association has received more and more detailed financial information than in any prior negotiation.

And so we’re prepared to continue discussing all of the issues that we have to discuss. There are serious issues; the differences are significant – no one should be misled on that. But we’re here, we believe in this process. I’ve said that many, many times. We believe in collective bargaining. It is an institution that is under attack all over this country. But it is the best means of preserving industrial peace that human beings have ever found. And we believe in it and we want to engage in it. There may be those who don’t want to engage in it, who prefer litigation, who prefer other gambles – that’s not where we are. We’re here to talk, we’re here to negotiate, not to file lawsuits.

On reports of an agreement regarding the rookie wage scale:

I don’t want to get into specifics on individual issues. [FMCS] Director Cohen has asked us not to do that and I want to respect that. The first rule is nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. So, we’ve got a ways to go.

On there being a realistic chance of a deal being done by Friday:

I don’t know, but we’re going to work at it. But if there is a deal to be done, then we’re here to make that deal.

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