The Professional Cricketers' Association are demanding guaranteed release of all players wishing to feature in off-season Twenty20 tournaments like Australia's Big Bash League before signing off the new multi-million pound county partnership agreement.
The players' union have lobbied for the inclusion of a freedom of movement clause for its members between the months of October to March, providing they are deemed 'mentally and physically fit'.
Currently, domestic cricketers are required to negotiate release with their clubs on a case-by-case basis - a process that has caused agitation on both sides.
Indeed, the issue was one of the major issues at an impromptu meeting of directors of cricket and head coaches at Edgbaston this time last year.
The DOCs were pushing for the levels of compensation counties receive for losing players to the Indian Premier League to apply to rival competitions like the BBL, Pakistan Super League and Bangladesh Premier League.
Their beef being that they effectively lease their prized assets to foreign leagues free of charge while retaining 100% liability in the case of injuries.
Under the new proposals, however, players would be able to participate in whichever T20 leagues they please without a need to pass on a slice of their earnings.
But they could incur small fees for a new PCA player insurance policy that would see clubs paid out for any unavailability stemming from overseas commitments.
The activity of employees in the off-season has become a bone of contention since 12-month county contracts were introduced a decade ago: clubs used the upgrade from ones of seven or eight months in length to exert greater control despite only contributing a nominal spike in wages of between £3,000-5,000 per annum rather than paying pro rata.
The CPA - negotiated between the ECB executive, the counties and the PCA on the back of the new £1.2billion TV deal running from 2020-24 - was scheduled to be concluded last November but appears set to remain unsigned when the County Championship season begins on April 5.
The delay is down to the PCA vowing to digest player feedback from their annual club visits - they started last week and finish with with a trip to Durham on April 2 - before finalising. Most elements have been agreed.
As Sportsmail exclusively revealed last month, a requirement for players to pay back 12.5% of their county wages to participate in the inaugural Hundred season next year sits at the heart of the CPA, alongside a new minimum wage of £27,500 for full-time professionals and significant hikes in both the salary collar and salary cap - the minimum and maximum amounts a county must spend on its playing staff.