The Professional Referee Organization (PRO) and the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA), the union that represents MLS referees, are scheduled to meet during negotiating sessions on either side of the December holiday season as the two sides seek to reach agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The current CBA, which was ratified in March 2014, is set to expire on January 15, 2019. The 2019 MLS regular season kicks off on March 2.
"The Professional Referee Organization (PRO) continues to negotiate in good faith with the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA) for a new collective bargaining agreement, having met with the PSRA 19 times over the past eight months," read a statement from PRO issued Tuesday.
The statement came in response to a vote by PSRA membership that allows the group to initiate a strike, if necessary, as the January 15 expiration date approaches.
The new rounds of talks come in the wake of PSRA's unfair labor practice charge submitted to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which was ultimately dismissed.
"PRO is committed to working in good faith to reach an agreement and hopes that the PSRA is as well," the PRO statement continued.
"I think that we're close on a number of things. We're making progress," PSRA president Steven Taylor told ESPN.com. "But as I've been saying since March when we started meetings, time is running short."