Remember the NFL replacements refs? Well, the Tour isn’t at that point – yet. On Wednesday, Rex Hoggard of Golf Channel reported that negotiations between the PGA Tour and it’s rules officials broke down. This means that at Kapalua, the officials(aka the guys who run the tournaments) will be working without a contract. Negotiations are still ongoing, but an attorney for the Tour officials’ union said that the two sides remain far apart on many issues. The officials’ contract was a one-year extension signed at the end of the 2011 season. Luckily they plan to continue to work events.
The main issues between the two sides are compensation and retirement plans that officials say are less than other professional sports. Golf Channel offers this example:
“Tour officials with five years of service, for example, are paid considerably less ($103,000) than officials with similar levels of service in Major League Baseball ($133,000), the NBA ($124,000) and the NHL ($202,000).”
Christian Dennie, an attorney who represents the officials’ union said, “We’re operating without an agreement as of Dec. 31st. They are (in Hawaii) right now and unless the Tour says otherwise they are going to work. These guys really take their job seriously and we’re going to try and help them as much as they can.”
The PGA Tour did not comment on negotiations, as is their policy.