No progress in pay dispute as Cricket Australia rejects ACA mediation request

Melbourne [Australia], May 17 : Cricket Australia (CA) has rejected Australian Cricketers Association's (ACA) request for mediation in pay talks between the two parties, reiterating the board's insistence that talks resume with its formal pay offer as the starting point.

In March, CA made an offer, proposing that the average pay of Australia's international women's players would rise from (Dollar) A79,000 to (Dollar) A179,000, while the average remuneration of state cricketers would more than double to (Dollar) A52,000.

Under CA's proposal, only male international players would have the chance to share in any surplus revenue, while other domestic male players and women at both domestic and international level would have to settle for fixed amounts which would not fluctuate according to the game's income.

However, the ACA pointed out a series of concerns with the proposal, saying that it "disrespects the value of domestic cricketers and the role they play in Australian cricket".

CA chairman David Peever, in a letter addressed to ACA president Greg Dyer, has stated that it was "extraordinary" that the latter has requested mediation without first attempting to negotiate based on CA's current offer, which seeks to break up the fixed revenue percentage model that has existed for the past 20 years.

"The preconditions you set out in your letter are unacceptable to CA," ESPNcricinfo quoted Peever as saying in the letter.

"They may be genuine issues of contention from the ACA's perspective, however they should not be an insurmountable barrier to even commencing good faith negotiations," he added.

The country's cricket board had last week threatened that players would not be paid beyond June 30, the date of expiry of their current five-year financial deal, if they don't accept the governing body's new proposed offer.

CA chief executive officer James Sutherland said CA "is not contemplating alternative contracting arrangements to play players beyond June 30 if their contracts have expired." Peever, while stating what Sutherland had said in its letter to the ACA CEO, said that the main reason why no progress has been made to date is the preconditions set by the ACA even before it negotiations are being made.

"Surely a more constructive and conventional approach would have been to work through CA's MOU proposal to agree all possible items, leaving issues where the parties may be further apart to be resolved towards the end.

Such an approach generally leads to a greater understanding between parties and reduces potential conflict," the CA chairman said.

"While I do not agree that mediation is appropriate in the current situation, out of respect for the players the present impasse needs to be broken and a mechanism found that allows good faith talks to finally start and move forward as quickly as possible," he wrote.

In December last year, CA had postponed pay talks with the ACA, saying the on-going negotiations can distract the players at this busy time of the season, referring to the Boxing Day Test and the early rounds of the Big Bash League (BBL).

Source: ANI