Emergency mediation required to rescue cricket from the June 30 cliff

Greg Dyer | 23 Jun 2017

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Statement from ACA President Greg Dyer

The current talks between the Australian Cricketers’ Association and Cricket Australia have failed to achieve a break through.

With only seven days until the June 30 deadline, the ACA calls for emergency mediation to be conducted at CEO level.

With this the ACA continues to search for ways to resolve the dispute. We are motivated by a sense of duty to the game and its players and frustration at the current process.

The ACA are instructed in this call by Australia’s male and female cricketers, who are determined to ensure every avenue is explored to avoid the post-June 30 cliff.

We are hopeful that the common sense offers of flexibility made in negotiations will be treated more respectfully in an elevated and mediated environment.

As things stand, from June 30 most of Australia’s elite male and female cricket players will be unemployed, jeopardising upcoming tours and ultimately the summer of cricket.

This creates uncertainty for broadcasters, sponsors, players and administrators.

And potentially stains the game, in the eyes of fans, and Australia’s reputation in the international community.

In recent weeks, the ACA has effectively been ‘negotiating with ourselves’ to try to break through. This is clearly unsatisfactory.

Of enduring concern to the ACA is the rejection of common sense and reasonable requests including:

  • The ACA is yet to receive the necessary financial information and forecasts to inform Australia’s male and female professional cricketers. We have been calling for this since August 2016. To date, CA has only been willing to provide financial 'scenarios' and 'formulas', which lack the detail and scope required;
  • The ACA’s offer for the players to take a modified share of revenue has been rejected;
  • The ACA’s set percentage of revenue plan to increase funding to grassroots cricket has been rejected;
  • CA continues to categorically rule out revenue sharing as an option for all players, thus denying women and men in domestic competitions a revenue share;
  • CA continues to state that player payments in the upcoming MOU be funded by the revenue already earned by the players from the last MOU;
  • The players, as the reason why the game attracts revenue in the first place (the product and the labour), continue to be taken for granted and communicated with directly via video or in person, contrary to their express wishes;
  • CA seems unwilling to remove their obligation for a pregnant player to notify CA’s nominated medical person that she is pregnant or to remove their insistence that a player sign a disclaimer in favour of CA giving away their common law rights to compensation for workplace injury; whilst,
  • The ACA simultaneously signs and honours confidentiality agreements only to read leaked confidential correspondence between the parties in the media. 

The ACA will now:

  • Await a response from CA to these calls for emergency mediation;
  • Update advice to the players on what to do in the event of unemployment;
  • Source commercial sponsors for the players through The Cricketers’ Brand;
  • Prepare for post-June 30 payments to the players via the support fund WaMCAP; and
  • Prepare for post-June 30 emergency Board and Player meetings.

Player Flexibility In Negotiations So Far

The ACA, as instructed by players, has offered:

  1. For the players to take a modified share of revenue than that expressed in the ACA’s earlier response to the CA offer, depending on;
  2. Sensible discussions on revenue that should be eligible for sharing by the players and what should be excluded; and
  3. For a future adjustment ledger (the players’ share of over forecast revenues) to be cascaded into.

Background

The players believe in the principle of sharing in the revenue they generate.

The players asked CA for financial and forecasting information in August 2016. This has not been provided by CA, even though it has been provided in the past MOU negotiations.

The players have offered two detailed submissions, spent seven months at the formal negotiating table and in May 2017 first called for mediation.

CA have rejected these positions from the players and offered their own detailed submission in March, which was rejected by the players in April 2017.

The ACA has established The Cricketers’ Brand (player IP business) and the Women and Men Cricketer Assistance Plan (WaMCAP), in preparing for a post-June 30 situation without an MOU.

The players are calling for a modernisation of the existing Revenue Sharing Model for all male and female State and national players, plus a significant increase in grassroots funding.

The Player Payment Pool not only funds player salaries, but also the ACA, the retirement scheme and many programs and wellbeing services that support the current and past player group.