BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – Across Western New York, thousands of student-athletes and their coaches are training before the start of another school year and sports season.
But, the start of the new season is uncertain.
According to sources with direct knowledge of ongoing contract discussions with Section VI, high school athletic officials are considering professional action before the season, refusing to play games until the Section agrees to a new contract for officials.
The pressure action would impact fall sports like soccer and volleyball, winter sports like basketball and hockey, and spring sports like baseball.
According to sources, football officials, for example, are seeking better pay and more match officials. But Section VI did not accept these details. The Sports Officials and Section VI contract expires on August 31. Contract negotiations have been going on for months.
A statement from Section VI President Maureen Donahue was released on Friday:
“In response to recent media inquiries regarding ongoing negotiations with Western New York
Section VI continues to be committed to our student-athletes and school districts. It is important for Section VI to continue its longstanding goodwill with sports officials in Western New York.
It is the position of Section VI not to negotiate contracts in public. The occurrence of a possible work stoppage will have a negative impact on our member schools and our student-athletes. We continue to appreciate our officials for the service they provide to our student-athletes.
Section VI has been dedicated over the past year to negotiating a fair contract for all parties involved and is committed to entering into a successor agreement.
Section VI President Maureen Donahue
Michael Cornell, President of the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association released a statement saying:
“I have no knowledge of the negotiations. However, at this point, principals should expect sports to start on time with officials. We understand that the parties involved continue to negotiate in good faith with each other because of the respect they have for each other and for the process. Now that we are post-COVID and our student-athletes are ready for the first normal sports season since the fall of 2019, I’m sure both parties would agree that we can’t let anything get in the way of our student-athletes’ participation. in the field or in the field.
Western New York High School athletic officials released this statement:
Jeff Preval is an award-winning presenter and journalist who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.