Irving, TX (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The NFL Referees' Association (NFLRA) voted 112-5 early Saturday to approve a new eight-year labor agreement with the league, that according to a report on nfl.com.
The deal will increase officials' salaries from an average of $149,000 in 2011 to $205,000 by the 2019 season. It also addresses the issue of retirement, with the league starting to offer benefits to all officials and new hires starting in 2017.
The current benefit plan, then, will be frozen until the end of the 2016 season or until an official reaches 20 years of service in the NFL.
Beginning in 2013, the deal also allows the league an option to hire a number of full-time officials to work year-round. It can also hire additional officials for training and assign them to work NFL games.
Replacement officials had worked the entire preseason and the first three weeks of the regular season, but a seemingly botched call on the final play between Green Bay and Seattle this past Monday night ignited a nationwide fervor that accelerated talks between the league and the NFLRA.