Dublin Airport, April 3 - After intensive union negotiations Flyers management are hopeful that today’s ballot by members will provide a way forward in their proposed cost-cutting measures. However some members are still concerned over the lack of clarity in the offer and complain that management have failed to provide draft line-ups to show how the proposed changes would affect players.


The situation has been ongoing since late 2006 but it was only this week the parties started sending e-mails outlining their plans. Throughout 2007 management have withheld victory chips due to players under an agreement stretching back several years, stating this was necessary and was pending agreement on reforms due that year. None of the other measures sought by management have so far materialised because of the on-going negotiations. With Friday’s deadline for agreement imminent management hope this will concentrate efforts on reaching consensus.


The new practices are intended to save the Flyers 375 euros straight away in staffing costs and reduce a players season from the typical 17 games they have played in the last couple of years to 14, or 15 max. Addition savings in time stuck in traffic will accrue. Negotiations turned sour on Tuesday and nearly broke down when there was disagreement on whether the comment to the media should be ‘Agreement has been reached subject to a ballot of our members’ or ‘Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’. Eventually it was agreed that the matter would be forwarded to the National Softball Relations Commission for a decision.


Two HR execs in the Flyers, Larry Mennon and newcomer Donald Darcy, have been working hard and late on the process. Mennon commented last night ‘We accept there has been genuine commitment by all three sides to reach an agreement going forward and the process has protected our players’ interests going forward and also prevented possible disruption to the schedule of upcoming matches going forward hi.’

Beech Hill

Principal to the agreement is the dropping of the Jets93 and subsequent back-fill of gaps in the player-force by cheaper players from as far away as Rathgar. Management have tried to re-assure Flyers players that replacement players will have been trained up to the level required to do their job, i.e. throw the ball back to the pitcher and get out of the way when there is a play at home.


Commenting on the union Limerick-based softball analyst Ian Clarke said today ‘Players must recognise that they have to agree to major changes or face an uncertain future. Whether the union is with one team or another isn’t important, what is important is that the union is with one team or another.’

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Flyers coach Brendan Ebayzy told reporters the ballot result is expected later today. Or in the next 24 and a half hous anyway.