Cricket Australia rejects mediation request in pay dispute

Cricket Australia (CA) has rejected a request from the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) for mediation over proposed remuneration changes.

A plan set out by CA in March proposed wage rises for male and female players but excluded an existing clause that entitles athletes to a share of its revenue.

The ACA consequently rejected the proposal in April and a number of senior internationals, including Shane Watson and Mitchell Starc, have provided public backing by using the hashtag #fairshare on social media.

It has been suggested players could go on strike in July after the publication correspondence from CA chief executive James Sutherland, which is believed to have stated individuals whose contracts expire in June this year will not have them renewed.

On Wednesday, a letter from CA chairman David Peever rejected ACA’s request for mediation in the pay talks.

“The preconditions you set out in your letter are unacceptable to CA,” a spokesperson from the governing body confirmed Peever wrote.

“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.

“As James Sutherland indicated in his letter to your CEO last week, the approach the ACA has taken in demanding certain preconditions be met before it is prepared to begin negotiations is the fundamental reason why no progress has been made to date.”

However, ACA president Greg Dyer refuted the suggestion that discussions had yet to take place and still remains hopeful over the possibility of mediation.

“How does CA expect to get a deal done by June 30? To make inaccurate statements about negotiations not having begun is poor form and clearly not consistent with good faith discussions,” said Dyer in a statement.

“To be clear, I personally met with CA back on November 11 to commence negotiations, at which time we were commended for the position that had been presented on behalf of the players.

“Since then, the ACA management have had over 20 hours of face-to-face meetings with CA.

“The players have categorically rejected CA’s offer given that it did not include the Revenue Sharing Model, but their offer is all that CA want to talk about.

“The current successful Revenue Sharing Model has been presented by the ACA with a number of solutions regarding increases in grassroots cricket, flexibility in investment and sharing of risk; yet CA appears unwilling to talk about our approach.

“The ACA clearly want to resolve a new MOU [memorandum of understanding] before June 30, and given the differences in both parties, mediation seems the right step.”

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