The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which works on resolving labor disputes reported that the Professional Referee Organization -- which manages refereeing at all pro levels in the United
States -- and the Professional Soccer Referees Association -- which represents full- and part-time referees, assistant referees and fourth officials -- reached a tentative agreement on a successor
collective bargaining agreement.
The new agreement will cover a five-year term and followed five consecutive days of mediation at the FMCS offices in Woodbridge, New Jersey.
“We applaud the efforts of the negotiating teams in reaching this tentative agreement,” FMCS Acting Director Rich Giacolone
said in a statement. “I am gratified that
FMCS was able to aid in these negotiations and look forward to a positive conclusion.”
The agreement came less than a month after the PSRA board received authorization from its
members to strike in response to what the association termed were PRO's unfair labor practices and unlawful bargaining stance.
In 2014, PSRA and PRO agreed on a collective bargaining
agreement but it only came after two weeks of replacement referees working MLS games. That agreement expires on Jan. 15.