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ACA, CA clash on multiple fronts

AAP logoAAP 15/12/2016 Rob Forsaith

Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association are on collision course over negotiations on a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The two parties are in the process of discussing a new agreement, with the current MoU expiring in June and the ACA have requested to sit in on future CA board meetings with the sport's governing body, in turn, questioning why it should fund the players' union.

A big sticking point relates to the salary model, with CA keen to end the status quo and the union wanting to maintain the current system, that's been in place since 1997, in which players' pay pool is devised by a percentage of CA revenue.

Other major divisions have been laid bare in submissions given to players this week and with the next round of formal talks not expected until January, both parties have plenty to mull over.

The "outdated ... and rather condescending" challenges faced by female cricketers, including a pregnancy clause, is one of many issues flagged in ACA's submission to players.

The union document, which includes a preambles from men's and women's national captains Steve Smith and Meg Lanning, calls on CA to show greater transparency.

This includes having a union presence at board meetings.

"This would be very progressive for an Australian sport and would allow player input at a constructive and strategic stage in decision making," the ACA said in its submission.

In sharp contrast, CA "questions the appropriateness of CA directly funding the ACA" in its formal notes tabled to players.

"We believe the players will continue to appreciate the role of the ACA, and should be empowered to make considered decisions on the level of ACA funding," CA said.

CA's submission calls on player payments to be tweaked, with one notable example being increased rewards for squads winning Test series on the subcontinent.

It also details the idea that salary increases for domestic players "should be driven by" Big Bash League payments, instead of state retainers.

Meanwhile, the ACA has asked CA to establish a formal scheduling advisory group that would allow the union to "assess and improve draft schedules prior to implementation".

The overcrowded domestic and international schedule is a major concern for players.

"The negative consequences of getting scheduling wrong are clear," the ACA submission said.

"The potential for injury to manifest itself increases; fatigue can lead to burn out and shortened careers.

"Playing with injury can shorten careers; playing with injury can affect the quality of the contest.

"Too many games can reduce the significance of the contest. Too many games (without context and meaning) can reduce the significance of representation."

CA chief executive James Sutherland, speaking earlier this week, suggested his organisation works "through schedules with the ACA from time to time".

"The players are a very important stakeholder group, as are many others," Sutherland said.

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