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Thursday, September 10, 2009
NBA and Referees' Union Break Off Negotiations

The New York Times reported yesterday that negotiations between the NBA and its Referees' Union have broken off, with the league apparently preparing for a lockout to begin later this month. The NBA's collective bargaining agreement with the union expired on September 1st.

The Times report cites sources who state that the primary disagreement between the league and union relates to the amount by which the NBA is proposing to reduce its referee budget. NBA Commissioner David Stern acknowledged that the league is seeking to cut its referee budget in light of the global recession, but denied that it is attempting to cut referee salaries. had previously reported that the NBA was looking to reduce referee travel costs, pension payouts, and health benefits.

If the two sides are unable to agree on a new CBA, the NBA will likely use referees from the NBA Developmental League as replacements. The NBA previously used replacement referees during the first two months of the 1995-96 season.


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