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Lui's Knob

What is "decertification"?

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Seems to be the ace card up Fehr's sleeve and the common buzzword over the media and NHLPA- but I'm not sure anyone really understands what that accomplishes, or if it will backfire on the players entirely (ie. lost season, no benefits, NHL set reduced wages, etc, etc...)??? Interestingly NFL and NBA went or nearly went down this road before a new CBA was signed = perhaps the season is closer than we think???

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this is Bob McKenzie's explanation:

If the average hockey fan is confused or perplexed by the economic intricacies and guiding principles of this lockout from both sides, their brains are likely to explode just trying to get a handle on the meaning/pros and cons of union decertification.

Before we try, in 30 words or less, to explain the essence of decertification, Barrister Bob (that's me, and not to be confused with Dr. McKenzie, who makes off the cuff medical assessments) will tell you what appears to be legally required to decertify the NHLPA.

First, the NHLPA must petition for the mere opportunity to decertify. A petition signed by one-third of the NHLPA is required to launch the process. If that petition is successfully executed, decertification could go to a membership vote, with simple majority rules. So if 51 per cent of the NHLPA membership voted in favor of decertification, the NHLPA would technically no longer exist.

The NHL would no longer have a union to bargain with. Don Fehr, technically, would no longer represent the players.

Once a union or association is decertified, its legal counsel must seek a preliminary injunction in court that basically says this mass of individual players with contracts is ready, willing and able to fulfill those contracts and that any existing lockout is illegal. And if the court rules in favor of the players, they would be returning to a league with no legal CBA in place and the league would not necessarily have any anti-trust exemptions.

What's that mean in English? The lockout would be considered illegal. No draft, no salary cap, no real rules of any kind, in theory. Potentially, it's chaos. Often times, the mere threat of decertification and going down that uncertain road is what pushes together warring CBA factions.

But decertification can also be a murky world. Free agency, no cap, no draft, yes. Medical benefits and pensions? Well, anything that the CBA previously spelled out would, in effect, be gone.

And just because a union decertifies doesn't automatically guarantee a court will rule in the players' favor on the preliminary injunction that would make the lockout illegal.

The NFL Players' Association decertified, got a favorable court ruling on the preliminary injunction but another court, in three separate instances (a stay, an extended stay and a formal ruling), reversed and overruled the initial court's ruling.

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no need for decertification...yet, that is basically a last ditch effort when the union and owners are miles away. and from what is being let out to the public this is not the case they are not miles away. but it can change at any time if the owners decide to get tough and ignore anything the union is trying to get. basically if it comes down to a take it or leave it option and that option is the players taking it up the yingyang they can do this and try to save themselves from being completely violated.

who knows it could be awesome/or real bad for Hockey, no rules as per who plays where and for how much. it could reward the few teams that actually make the league some money instead of punishing them with low caps and contract rules. but then we could also see the Leafs win a cup when they offer the top players in the league 40 million for 1 year. to win a cup..........

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They won't decertify. Why would Fehr advise them to do that? He would basically be firing himself as head of the union.

There are really no guarantees with that course either.

The sides are closer to getting a deal done, there's no need for that. Maybe if it starts going into year 2.

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I will preface this all by saying that even though I do have quite a bit of LR and CBA negotiating experience... it has all been on the employer side, and I have never been involved in a decertification process.

But from everything I learned and have seen, it is also almost an impossibility in this particular case... there are vastly different rules for decertification in every jurisdiction they have teams in. You could end up in court for months just to determine what % of players need to vote for a petition to the courts to even ALLOW a decertification vote. Then there are the rules about decertification itself... not least of which is what each jurisdiction considers the "open window" (which is basically a timeframe when a members are allowed to decertify their union, you aren't just allowed to do it anytime)... some places expressly forbid open windows after a CBA has expired. The PA would have to find a jurisdiction that they operate in (a state of province) and file a petition there... that jurisdiction has to agree to even hear it, and then have to have the intestinal fortitude to make a decision that will impact every other state and province that the league operates in... a decision that may go against their laws. The league can happily argue against it probably with a lot of success.

Then a court has to actually agree to the decertification itself, which is a real crapshoot because they don't like being used as a tool in labour disputes... the players would actually have to show that they really mean to decertify their union and not just having fancy legal trickery to disband one, and then restart it again under a different legal entity. The court can also easily impose a federal mediator to deal with the two parties before agreeing to allow any decertification votes. It would likely not be looked on very positively not to have tried to use a mediator yet in the process.

Decertification is supposed to be used when a union is flagrantly not representing their members... using it for other purposes is not really tested in court and goes against the intent of the labour laws that govern the process. I certainly wouldn't bet on it as a winning strategy, and I think the media and a couple of barrack room lawyer type players may be the only ones who think it is a real possibility.

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Chaos.

It has to jump through several legal hoops before happening and it's a source of yet more frustration for the general fan using common sense.

There isn't even a legitimate reason for the lockout, yet now we're talking about the desperate measures of decertification?

It's going to be tough for them to regain their fans.

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It is the persistent degradation of dryland ecosystems by variations in climate and human activity.

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I will preface this all by saying that even though I do have quite a bit of LR and CBA negotiating experience... it has all been on the employer side, and I have never been involved in a decertification process.

But from everything I learned and have seen, it is also almost an impossibility in this particular case... there are vastly different rules for decertification in every jurisdiction they have teams in. You could end up in court for months just to determine what % of players need to vote for a petition to the courts to even ALLOW a decertification vote. Then there are the rules about decertification itself... not least of which is what each jurisdiction considers the "open window" (which is basically a timeframe when a members are allowed to decertify their union, you aren't just allowed to do it anytime)... some places expressly forbid open windows after a CBA has expired. The PA would have to find a jurisdiction that they operate in (a state of province) and file a petition there... that jurisdiction has to agree to even hear it, and then have to have the intestinal fortitude to make a decision that will impact every other state and province that the league operates in... a decision that may go against their laws. The league can happily argue against it probably with a lot of success.

Then a court has to actually agree to the decertification itself, which is a real crapshoot because they don't like being used as a tool in labour disputes... the players would actually have to show that they really mean to decertify their union and not just having fancy legal trickery to disband one, and then restart it again under a different legal entity. The court can also easily impose a federal mediator to deal with the two parties before agreeing to allow any decertification votes. It would likely not be looked on very positively not to have tried to use a mediator yet in the process.

Decertification is supposed to be used when a union is flagrantly not representing their members... using it for other purposes is not really tested in court and goes against the intent of the labour laws that govern the process. I certainly wouldn't bet on it as a winning strategy, and I think the media and a couple of barrack room lawyer type players may be the only ones who think it is a real possibility.

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When the NFL union decertified and went to court the owners had to open the Real books and ended with big mud on their faces. They also found out the owners were in collusion to break the union. Does Bettman and the owners want to go down this road and end up in courts in both countries? It actually got the NFL and the players to bagain in good faith and got what seems to be a decent deal in place for both sides. Double edged sword for both the players and owners because it opens up every thing for everybody to see.

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Bettman has already won both the legal court battle and the court of opinion.

Players can de certify their union all they want. Then they can go through the Steve Moore process of suing to have their contract enforced.

Meanwhile, in the intervening 70 years, they might re join the NHL and sign a new contract and waive the old one. Or grand father the old one.

i cant even begin to tell people how dumb this is. It is self defeating. They are going to sit out for YEARS more waiting to have their case heard ? NHL can spin and delay it forever.

Here is a better idea.

ADMIT the union lost, stop fighting, start playing an live to fight for the next CBA.

Win for the owners. Win for the fans, win for the players. Loss for Fehr.

Lets get on with it.

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Here is a better idea.

ADMIT the union lost, stop fighting, start playing an live to fight for the next CBA.

Win for the owners. Win for the fans, win for the players. Loss for Fehr.

Lets get on with it.

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Decertification, as I understand it, means:

1- The NHL can no longer negotiate a COLLECTIVE aggreement with the players. All matters pertaining to their employment would be dealt with individually through their individual contracts negotiated between their agent and the GM.

2- The players, once they advise the NHL that they are no longer represented by the NHLPA, would file a lawsuit claiming the lockout is illegal and amounts to anti-trust. This is because the individual clubs cannot band together and deny employment en masse.

3- No salary Cap. It is illegal in the States (and Canada IIRC) for two seperate employers to collude to limit salaries of employees. Remember that the individual clubs are the employers. This also results in total free agency once a player's contract expires.

4- No revenue sharing (likely). Rich teams will no longer help out weak teams.

5- No benefits (pension, health care, etc.) for players unless they manage to negotiate something individually between agent and GM.

Basically, the reason why this process is effective, potentially, for the players is that it removes ALL of the components of the CBA that benefit the owners. In truth, professional sports player unions hurt the players more than they help them nowadays. They limit salaries, free agency, and individual bargaining rights.

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It's decertification.

decertify[ dee-sur-tuh-fahy ]verb (used with object) de·cer·ti·fied, de·cer·ti·fy·ing.1. to withdraw certification from.

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The players would be stupid to decertify. Part of their standard contract states terms is there MUST be a CBA or it is VOIDED so everyone would be a free agent, they could not have an agent represent them for negotiating purposes, and most likely 6 teams would fold. I don't care for how the owners are going about this lockout but the players have lost more money now then they would have if they agreed to the original offer.

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I will preface this all by saying that even though I do have quite a bit of LR and CBA negotiating experience... it has all been on the employer side, and I have never been involved in a decertification process.

But from everything I learned and have seen, it is also almost an impossibility in this particular case... there are vastly different rules for decertification in every jurisdiction they have teams in. You could end up in court for months just to determine what % of players need to vote for a petition to the courts to even ALLOW a decertification vote. Then there are the rules about decertification itself... not least of which is what each jurisdiction considers the "open window" (which is basically a timeframe when a members are allowed to decertify their union, you aren't just allowed to do it anytime)... some places expressly forbid open windows after a CBA has expired. The PA would have to find a jurisdiction that they operate in (a state of province) and file a petition there... that jurisdiction has to agree to even hear it, and then have to have the intestinal fortitude to make a decision that will impact every other state and province that the league operates in... a decision that may go against their laws. The league can happily argue against it probably with a lot of success.

Then a court has to actually agree to the decertification itself, which is a real crapshoot because they don't like being used as a tool in labour disputes... the players would actually have to show that they really mean to decertify their union and not just having fancy legal trickery to disband one, and then restart it again under a different legal entity. The court can also easily impose a federal mediator to deal with the two parties before agreeing to allow any decertification votes. It would likely not be looked on very positively not to have tried to use a mediator yet in the process.

Decertification is supposed to be used when a union is flagrantly not representing their members... using it for other purposes is not really tested in court and goes against the intent of the labour laws that govern the process. I certainly wouldn't bet on it as a winning strategy, and I think the media and a couple of barrack room lawyer type players may be the only ones who think it is a real possibility.

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Good points. The practical application plays right into the owners hands.

1) decert to fight for contracts when 90% of the contracts the union has are not affected by the salary cap. The union will NEVER vote to certify so Sidney crosby and other elite contracts can be fought in court. Why would th 90% vote to go to bat for the 10% greed?

2) The owners can pull a Steve Moore and tie it up for years, meanwhile the 10% superstars fighting to enforce it grow OLD and the owners simply offer them virtually the same contracts in a new union. If they reject the new offer, the court will not award them their whole contracts. They cant refuse work and expect the whole contract in compensation. Only the difference.

3) The other 90% of players will willingly tear up their NHLPA contracts and simply sign a new contract with the new union and go back to playing in the NHL and forget the whole thing. You got Crosby and Ovechkin sitting in court whining and complaining.

So forget it. If the NHLPA wants to de certify, it just gives the owners the chance to get rid of the NHLPA and deal with a new union, which I suspect is what they want now anyways.

I have a better idea.

Fire Fehr , and get a hockey guy to approach the owners to work out a fair deal. The owners will deal if they feel they beat the unions attempt to bully them with an outsider.

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http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/how-the-n-h-l-players-union-would-decertify/

Decertifying would be a big step for the N.H.L. players – and a time-consuming one. Here’s how it would work for the 23 player labor units in the United States. (The seven Canada-based units would have to follow separate decertification procedures in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.)

  • 1) First, the membership must sign a petition to decertify. If at least 30 percent of the members sign, the process begins.

  • 2) The petition goes to the National Labor Relations Board.

  • a) If 30 to 49 percent of the membership signed the petition, the board sets a decertification election date, usually about 60 days after approving the petition.

  • B) If 50 percent or more signed, the employer may immediately withdraw recognition of the union. But the N.H.L. would be unlikely to do so because it would allow the players to immediately begin filing antitrust lawsuits against the league.

  • 3) Once the labor relations board sets an election date, the union holds a decertification vote on that date. If a majority votes in favor, the union is decertified and its status changes to trade association.

  • 4) The trade association can file antitrust lawsuits against the employer.

It would likely take at least two months for the N.H.L. Players’ Association to decertify, so if the qualifying petition were submitted by Dec. 1, the filing of antitrust lawsuits could not begin until Feb. 1. Even if the N.H.L. buckled immediately, that would probably be too late to save the season. That may have been the basis for Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly’s assertion last week on Toronto radio that decertification would “likely lead to the end of the season.”

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