Article 47Union Security
Section 1. Union Security
Every NFL player has the option of joining or not joining the NFLPA; provided, however, that as a condition of employment commencing with the execution of this Agreement and for the duration of this Agreement and wherever and whenever legal; (a) any active player who is or later becomes a member in good standing of the NFLPA must maintain his membership in good standing in the NFLPA; and (b) any active player (including a player in the future) who is not a member in good standing of the NFLPA must, on the 30th day following the beginning of his employment or the execution of this Agreement, whichever is later, pay, pursuant to Section 2 below or otherwise to the NFLPA, an annual service fee in the same amount as any initiation fee and annual dues required of members of the NFLPA.
Section 2. Check-off
Commencing with the execution of this Agreement, each Club will check-off the initiation fee and annual dues or service charge, as the case may be, in equal weekly or biweekly installments from each preseason and regular season pay check, beginning with the first pay check after the date of the first preseason squad cutdown, for each player for whom a current check-off authorization (copy attached hereto as Appendix M and made a part of this Agreement) has been provided to the Club. The Club will forward the check-off monies to the NFLPA within seven days of the check-off.
Section 3. NFLPA Meetings
The NFLPA will have the right to conduct four meetings on Club property each year, including one at the time of a Club’s minicamp, provided that the player representative or NFLPA office has given the Club reasonable notice of its desire to hold such a meeting by the close of business on Friday of the week before the week in which the meeting is to take place, or by the close of business Thursday if the meeting is scheduled for the following Monday. No meeting will be held at a time which would disrupt a coach’s team schedule. The visits described in Article 21, Section 8(g) shall not apply toward the limit set forth in this Section.
Section 4. NFLPA Player Group Licensing Program
The NFL recognizes that players have authorized the NFLPA to act as their agent in a Group Player Licensing program (defined below) for their benefit. The NFL hereby agrees that neither it, any Club, nor any affiliate of the NFL and/or any Club shall acquire, seek to acquire, induce others to acquire, or assist others in acquiring Group Player Licensing rights, or interfere in any manner with any player’s conveyance of such rights pursuant to the NFLPA Group Player Licensing program, except as otherwise explicitly agreed to between the NFLPA (or any of its affiliates) and the NFL (or any of its affiliates). Any disputes that arise regarding the NFL’s conduct in this regard shall be submitted for expedited arbitration pursuant to Article 43. The first such grievance in any calendar year shall be treated on an expedited basis without counting against the number of grievances the NFLPA may expedite pursuant to Article 43, Section 4; all subsequent such grievances in that calendar year shall count against the number of grievances the NFLPA may expedite pursuant to Article 43, Section 4. For the purposes of this Section 4, Group Player Licensing shall be defined as the use of a total of six (6) or more NFL players’ names, signatures facsimiles, voices, pictures, photographs, likenesses and/or biographical information on or in conjunction with products (including, but not limited to, trading cards, clothing, videogames, computer games, collectibles, internet sites, fantasy games, etc.), marketing, advertising and promotional programs; (a) in any one product and/or sponsorship category, as defined by industry standards; or (b) in different categories if a total of six or more players are used and (i) the products, marketing, advertising or promotional programs all use similar or derivative design or artwork or (ii) one such player product is used to promote another player product. For the purposes of this Section 4, Group Player Licensing includes, without limitation, products sold at retail and products that are used as promotional or premium items. Group Player Licensing shall not include “non-consumer facing” appearances by NFL players at any individual corporate hospitality and/or other similar events by fewer than six (6) active NFL players. Nothing in this definition of Group Player Licensing shall be construed to limit the rights of the NFL or any NFL Club under applicable law, or any other provision of this Agreement.
Section 5. Disputes
Any dispute over compliance with, or the interpretation, application or administration of this Article will be processed pursuant to Article 43. Any decision of an arbitrator pursuant thereto will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute, and will be binding on the player(s) and Club(s) involved and the parties to this Agreement.
Section 6. Procedure for Enforcement(a)
Upon written notification to the Management Council by the NFLPA that a player has not paid any initiation fee, dues or the equivalent service fee in violation of Section 1 of this Article, the Management Council will within seven days consider the matter. If there is no resolution of the matter within seven days, then the Club will, upon notification of the NFLPA, suspend the player without pay. Such suspension will continue until the NFLPA has notified the Club in writing that the suspended player has satisfied his obligation as contained in Section 1 of this Article. The parties hereby agree that suspension without pay is adopted as a substitute for and in lieu of discharge as the penalty for a violation of the union security clause of the Agreement and that no player will be discharged for a violation of that clause. The player’s contract will be tolled during the period of any such suspension. A copy of all notices required by this “Procedure for the Enforcement of the Union Security Agreement Between the NFL Management Council and the NFLPA” will be simultaneously mailed to the player involved and the Management Council.(b)
It is further agreed that the term “member in good standing” as used in this Article applies only to payment of dues or initiation fee and not any other factors involved in union discipline.(c)
It is further agreed that notwithstanding anything else in this Agreement, if at any time in the term of the Agreement, any court or agency shall wholly or partially invalidate the provisions of this Article relating to Union Security, then the NFLPA may reopen this Agreement upon the giving of 10 days’ written notice, with reference solely to the issue of Union Security, and both parties will have an obligation to resume negotiations limited to the issue of Union Security, and both parties will be free to engage in whatever concerted or other action may be permitted by law in support of their positions.
Section 7. NFLPA Responsibility
It is agreed that neither the NFL nor any Club shall be liable for any salary, bonus, or other monetary claims of any player suspended pursuant to the terms of Section 6 above. Collection of initiation fees, annual dues, service charges or other check-off amounts missed because of inadvertent errors shall be the responsibility of the NFLPA. The NFLPA shall be solely responsible for refunds to players in the case of any sums deducted not in conformity with the provisions of the NFLPA Constitution and Bylaws or applicable law.
Section 8. Orientations(a)
Scouting Combines. During the annual Timing and Testing Sessions of the Scouting Combines, the NFL will use best efforts to ensure that the NFLPA will be permitted to present one-hour orientations for all of the college players attending the session. The orientation will include only information on the Career Planning Program, the Chemical Dependency Program, the NFLPA Agent Certification System, and other information contained in this Agreement and will encourage the players to participate fully in all activities of the Scouting Combine. The NFLPA will also have the right to reasonable space in the public area of the players’ hotel, staffed by NFLPA employees, to provide information requested by players during their free time at the Combine.(b)
Veteran/Rookie Orientation Programs. The NFLPA shall also be permitted to be present at all jointly-sponsored mandatory non-football related Veteran/Rookie Orientation Programs (e.g., financial education, health and safety) and will be given the opportunity to participate as a presenter.