Mixed response to baseball umpires new pay rate proposal

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A source dealing closely with negotiations between East Texas schools and local baseball umpires says there has been some favorable but cautious response to a new proposed pay rate.

Earlier this week, the baseball umpires from the Texas Association of Sports Officials chapters in Tyler, Longview, Texarkana and SFA submitted a new pay rate proposal to almost 100 East Texas schools. A source says the new proposed pay rate falls within the UIL's mandated pay rate but that there ''is some stretch to it.''

KLTV's source says some schools have contacted the UIL about the new proposal concerned that there still may be rule violation. The UIL has stated that ''schools that pay more than the allowed fee for officials will be considered in violation of UIL rules and subject to sanctions."

Details of that proposal have not been released, however other sources tell KLTV the change is in the percentage of gate intake. That same source says it is similar to the pay rate agreed to in principle by schools in Houston.

The Tyler chapter voted last week to go on strike, unhappy with the UIL's mandated pay rate. Local umpires felt those guidelines decreased their pay. The UIL told KLTV their constitution does not allow for negotation of pay rates. After a meeting with the UIL on Saturday in Houston, TASO members created the new proposal with the hope of avoiding a strike. The high school baseball season begins in about two weeks.

KLTV 7 Sports contacted the UIL and an official stressed that any school not sure the pay rate is in compliance, should contact the UIL. Sanctions for violators range from a reprimand to a three-year suspension of the athletic program.