LOCKOUT OVER: Regular refs to officiate Browns-Ravens game

LOCKOUT OVER: Regular refs to officiate Browns-Ravens game
NFL, officials agree to deal ending lockout
NFL, officials agree to deal ending lockout

(WOIO) - A deal has been reached between the NFL and NFL Referee Association which ends the lockout of the league's officials that started in June.

The regular officials will work the Browns game in Baltimore with the Ravens tonight.

"Our officials will be back on the field starting (Thursday) night," commissioner Roger Goodell said in the statement. "We appreciate the commitment of the NFLRA in working through the issues to reach this important agreement."

"Our Board of Directors has unanimously approved taking this proposed CBA to the membership for a ratification vote," NFLRA president Scott Green said in the statement. "We are glad to be getting back on the field for this week's games."

A major stumbling block between the two sides was officials retirement plan.  The officials wanted to keep their pension, while the NFL wanted to change it to a 401(k).  In the end, the officials will have a pension through the 2016 season or until he/she earns 20 years of service.

Some officials also will switch to full-time, year round work after this season ends.  As of now, all of the officials work part-time for the NFL.

The average salary will rise from $149,000 in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013 and $205,000 in 2019.

Team owners, at the urging of the NFLRA, got involved after Monday night's controversial touchdown call during the Packers and the Seahawks game by replacement officials.

The NFLRA will vote to ratify the deal on Friday in Dallas before heading out to their officiating assignments on Saturday.

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