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Minor league Umpires Sign Contract

March 29, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Minor league umpires signed their first collective bargaining agreement with the minor leagues on Thursday, a deal with better travel perks and slightly more money.

``It was a good thing to get it done and I think everybody is happy,″ union head Tim Timmons said. ``This puts more money in our pockets and they’ve improved the living conditions.″

While the average salary for umps remains at about $15,000 at Triple-A, $12,000 at Double-A, $10,000 at full-season A ball and $5,500 at rookie leagues, per diems are increasing.

In addition, Double-A umps get their own hotel rooms this year and Class A umps get them next year. Triple-A umps got single rooms starting last season.

Triple-A crew chiefs also get $100 per month more and the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation, an affiliate of the governing body of the minor leagues, will cover clubhouse attendant tips, generally $10 a day at Triple-A, $7 at Double-A, $5 at full-season A ball and $2 at rookie leagues.

In addition, there will be a revised rating system in which all umpires will be ranked at their level, instead of just being given a grade.

``The thing I’m most proud of is the evaluation system,″ Timmons said.

Minor league umpires formed a union for the first time last year.

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