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  #31 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 29, 2019, 10:18am
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Game Fees ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
... officials are horribly underpaid and why fees stagnate for years on end ...
Just got this a few days ago:

Game Fees for 2019-2020
Scrimmage Fee: $150.00 (3 officials $50.00 each, 2 officials $75.00 each)
Varsity Fee: $98.47 (two person)
Sub Varsity Fee: $63.89 (junior varsity, freshman, and middle school)

In a high population concentration, geographically small, state like Connecticut, we're kept close to home and travel time/distance isn't an issue.

Automatic fee increase every year (no more yearly contract negotiations in smoke filled back rooms) is based on the average teacher raise in the state (1.3% this past year).

My local annual dues: $100.00, plus 7% assignment fee.

Maybe it's nice to officiate in 100% IAABO "Monopoly" Connecticut.

Maybe it's nice to have officials seated at the CIAC table.

Of course Connecticut does have a relatively high cost of living.

It's all relative.

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Last edited by BillyMac; Mon Jul 29, 2019 at 11:26am.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 29, 2019, 10:28am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
The argument that all PA sports officials should bear the cost of defending the lawsuit when a small group of officials brought the suit is just silly.

Officials are not part of the membership -- they are independent contractors. If the state decides to remove this insurance coverage and doesn't lower the fee, then the officials should do what they feel is necessary, including not working the games unless their fees are lowered and/or their insurance coverage is reinstated. And the PIAA should recover its fees by raising membership dues on its member schools or on advertisers, etc. like any other business.

Schools requiring officials to bring their own coverage would get a quick message -- good luck having your games cause we're not coming.

I agree with the poster above. The "it's for the kids" mentality and officials continuing to bend, bend, bend is why officials are horribly underpaid and why fees stagnate for years on end. And why working conditions are the way they are. State associations just expect officials to take it....and then cry out that there's a horrible shortage. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
Completely agree.

Officials are the only ones that take heat for expecting to be paid commensurately with their services. No one bats an eye when state associations do shady stuff like the PIAA is doing, at least not to the extent that they are forced to do something about it. No one would dare suggest that the "poor" schools offset nominal pay increases for officials with higher gate fees, while they have no problem shelling out the funds for new stadiums, fields, gyms, scoreboards, and uniforms.

Too many officials without a backbone and the "for the kids" political correctness from all parties (often hypocritical at that) has led to all this crap.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 29, 2019, 10:38am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camron Rust View Post
If you were arguing that the schools should be paying more in general, I'd agree with you, but the schools didn't cause this expense. The PIAA membership also includes officials and that is the group that caused them to incur the expense, even if it wasn't all of them. Why should the schools have an extra bill because some officials wanted to take them for something? And even if they did pay for it, why should I (as a tax paying citizen) have to pay for it?
Why should you as a tax payer foot the bill for any costs associated with hiring officials for sports contests?
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 29, 2019, 11:32am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRZ View Post
Nevadaref's questions strike home--what do I get for my $150 a year?
If you're paying that much, I'd question it too. We pay less than half of that (around $70) and that covers the books, the background check, and liability insurance, and a few other things. Not sure what services PIAA is supposedly giving you for $150.

I retract my comments earlier given that it seems they're gouging you to start with. If they were charging minimal amounts and scraping by, I'd see where they'd need to cut the insurance (or something) to get by and cover the costs.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 29, 2019, 10:43pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
Why should you as a tax payer foot the bill for any costs associated with hiring officials for sports contests?
Because public schools have athletics, and public schools are funded by the taxpayers.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 29, 2019, 11:01pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
Why should you as a tax payer foot the bill for any costs associated with hiring officials for sports contests?
Because I have happily agreed to pay for the schools and the programs they offer. I have not agreed to pay for a frivolous lawsuit by people that likely knew they'd be unsuccessful but want to see if they could get a free lunch. If there were a way to charge them with the expenses, they should do that but that is likely to end up being more expensive and more difficult than cutting some expenses.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 30, 2019, 12:41am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
Requiring football officials to take their books to the field to appease disgruntled coaches doesn't reflect well on them.
This really gets overblown far more than it actually occurs or has practical impact in reality. By rule, a coach in every NFHS state is entitled to ask for a coach/referee conference. All this does is require the books to be there for a quick reference in the extremely unlikely event that it isn't clear, a small extension of the existing coach/referee conference. It almost never gets to that point - but the very few times it has, having the books there has proven invaluable.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 30, 2019, 12:53am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrounge View Post
This really gets overblown far more than it actually occurs or has practical impact in reality. By rule, a coach in every NFHS state is entitled to ask for a coach/referee conference. All this does is require the books to be there for a quick reference in the extremely unlikely event that it isn't clear, a small extension of the existing coach/referee conference. It almost never gets to that point - but the very few times it has, having the books there has proven invaluable.
Huh? What are you talking about?
Which sport does this reference apply to?
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 30, 2019, 12:57am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camron Rust View Post
Because I have happily agreed to pay for the schools and the programs they offer. I have not agreed to pay for a frivolous lawsuit by people that likely knew they'd be unsuccessful but want to see if they could get a free lunch. If there were a way to charge them with the expenses, they should do that but that is likely to end up being more expensive and more difficult than cutting some expenses.
Why did the prevailing side in the court case not get awarded court costs and attorney fees?
That is how the costs of the litigation should have been covered.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 30, 2019, 06:52am
LRZ LRZ is offline
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The appeal was from an administrative agency, the NLRB, captioned PIAA v. NLRB, after the NLRB ruled that officials are employees of PIAA. The appellate court reversed the decision of the NLRB, holding that officials are independent contractors, not employees. Although my labor law experience was about 40 years ago, I think that the rules about losers paying costs don't apply in such cases.
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 30, 2019, 07:33am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrounge View Post
This really gets overblown far more than it actually occurs or has practical impact in reality. By rule, a coach in every NFHS state is entitled to ask for a coach/referee conference. All this does is require the books to be there for a quick reference in the extremely unlikely event that it isn't clear, a small extension of the existing coach/referee conference. It almost never gets to that point - but the very few times it has, having the books there has proven invaluable.
If the coach isn't convinced that a rule is being correctly applied, it should be his job to prove it.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 30, 2019, 07:39am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref View Post
Huh? What are you talking about?
Which sport does this reference apply to?
MTD made a comment about Ohio's history of being anti-official. I responded that the requirement that football officials have in that state to take their books to the field with them (discussed in the football forum in the past) doesn't reflect well on Ohio. Scrounge responded to my comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. DeNucci, Sr. View Post
While the OhioHSAA has gotten better, it can be a schmuck from time to time with regard to officials.

MTD, Sr.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
Requiring football officials to take their books to the field to appease disgruntled coaches doesn't reflect well on them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrounge View Post
This really gets overblown far more than it actually occurs or has practical impact in reality. By rule, a coach in every NFHS state is entitled to ask for a coach/referee conference. All this does is require the books to be there for a quick reference in the extremely unlikely event that it isn't clear, a small extension of the existing coach/referee conference. It almost never gets to that point - but the very few times it has, having the books there has proven invaluable.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 30, 2019, 08:59am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camron Rust View Post
Because I have happily agreed to pay for the schools and the programs they offer. I have not agreed to pay for a frivolous lawsuit by people that likely knew they'd be unsuccessful but want to see if they could get a free lunch. If there were a way to charge them with the expenses, they should do that but that is likely to end up being more expensive and more difficult than cutting some expenses.
That would be a valid argument if the lawsuit were truly frivolous? But the officials (complainants) won the initial court case. And as has been pointed out, the PIAA has a history of less than scrupulous business practices.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 30, 2019, 10:08am
LRZ LRZ is offline
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Just to clarify: the initial "case" was not a law suit, but a complaint filed with the NLRB. After the NLRB ruled in the officials' favor, finding them (us) employees, not independent contractors, PIAA appealed that decision to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, which hears administrative agency appeals. That court decided, 3-0, we are not employees but independent contractors.*

After the NLRB decision, there was a parallel class action law suit filed by several officials, claiming PIAA was in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act for not paying minimum wage. That was recently settled for a $260,000 award to the plaintiffs. I assume the plaintiff lawyers will get their cut, then the remainder will be divided among the officials who opted in to the class action.

Regardless of the merits of the two legal actions, regardless of who pays how much in taxes, and regardless of the value of PIAA membership, there remains the propriety of PIAA's timing, announcing the end of our insurance with little time for officials to scout out meaningful alternatives.

*Like issues in sports, where the rules don't specifically apply to novel situations, the traditional test for employee status does not really address the conditions under which we work in PA. We must be PIAA-certified to work school games, we're assigned by assigners who contract with leagues to provide officials, we're paid by the individual schools, all of which is governed by PIAA rules. PIAA also controls the rules, mechanics and even our uniforms--that is, the terms and conditions of employment. (Think of it this way: a labor union--say, carpenters--decrees that all union carpenters must wear blue pants, red shirts with the union logo, and black shoes. Appropriate?) The original argument before the NLRB was novel and unusual, not frivolous.

Last edited by LRZ; Tue Jul 30, 2019 at 10:18am.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 30, 2019, 11:01am
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Well, all I know is this. The "independent contractor" argument is complete hogwash in many instances. Just because you are called one in form doesn't mean you are in substance.

Assigners and state associations use this copout when it's convenient for them while exercising a level of control on officials that, more often than not, can be construed as one of an employee/employer relationship.
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