Pay talks postponed as Cricket Australia refuse to take part in 'public dispute'
Australia has called off pay talks with the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), accusing the players’ union of failing to negotiate in good faith.
The two parties are negotiating a new memorandum of understanding but talks have soured after the ACA raised concerns about issues relating to female players, .
Further informal discussions were due to be held this week but Cricket Australia have postponed talks until the new year.
“Cricket Australia is committed to a negotiation that is conducted in good faith between the two parties, but will not take part in a process which seeks to draw its players into a public dispute,” a spokesman said.
“Players deserve the opportunity to focus on the game, rather than being distracted by a negotiation that should be conducted in a professional and confidential manner.
“In the period that will see tens of thousands of fans enjoy BBL matches, and the cricket community prepare for another Boxing Day Test, that cannot be assured if discussions continue under current arrangements with the ACA.”
An ACA submission sent to players last week highlighted several “outdated at best and rather condescending” issues relating to female cricketers, including a widely criticised clause asking them to declare they are not pregnant before they sign a contract.
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland last week fired back at critics, saying the issue had been misrepresented and put players in a difficult position.
“We’ve had lots of conversations about it with them in recent times to come up with the wording ... that keeps the health and safety of women, and their babies, first and foremost,” Sutherland told AAP.
“We’ve got strong and clear alignment around this policy with the ACA ... to say we’re stopping a pregnant woman from playing or from being able to sign a contract, that’s simply not the case.”
The pregnancy clause has since come .
Cricket Australia confirmed on Saturday the independent organisation, charged with educating and encouraging compliance with Australia’s workplace laws, was “seeking further clarification” over its contracts.