Rugby Australia, Super Rugby Clubs and the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) today announced they have agreed terms for a further one-year extension of a COVID-19 enforced amended Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The amended CBA runs through to the end of 2022, providing clarity for all professional Rugby stakeholders ahead of the inaugural season of Super Rugby Pacific.
The amended CBA maintains all professional players within its scope, including the Wallabies, Wallaroos, all Australian Super Rugby club players, both Australian Rugby Sevens squads and the full re-integration of the Western Force into CBA V.
The amendments include changes to terms for both the Wallabies and Wallaroos for 2022. The 2022 CBA includes a ‘recognition of performance’ payment, to reflect the commercial upside of a winning Wallabies team.
It also includes enhanced support payments for the Wallaroos ahead of the Rugby World Cup, with a daily support payment established for players whilst assembled for camps, tournaments and Test matches.
The Wallaroos program will be further supported by the provision of a Player Wellbeing and Development Manager.
In addition to these amendments to the CBA, RUPA has amended its constitution to enable the appointment of a Women’s XVs Player Director on the RUPA Board and a joint RUPA/Rugby Australia High-Performance Women’s XVs Advisory Group has been created.
In Super Rugby, Wider Training Squad (WTS) minimum salaries have been increased, whilst there has also been an acknowledgement of the need for greater flexibility in the number of Core Playing Squad (CPS) and WTS contracts per club.
The amended CBA has also adopted the RA COVID-19 Workplace Safe Measures Policy, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all players and staff across the game.
Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said: “We’re pleased to be able to confirm the agreed terms for a further one-year extension of the CBA. I have been encouraged with the open and constructive negotiations we have been able to conduct as we collectively work towards what is best for the game.
“It continues to be a challenging time for all in the game, but as partners we are heartened by the spirit of collaboration and shared resolve with which we are tackling these COVID-enforced disruptions.
“Whilst we would all prefer to be able to deliver a longer-term CBA, this extension will allow us all to navigate these uncharted, and uncertain waters with as much comfort as possible.”
RUPA President Matt Toomua said: “The players recognise their role as partners in the game and this short-term extension provides a degree of certainty for all stakeholders as well as a platform to continue to work collaboratively with Rugby Australia in addressing the ongoing challenges for the game.”
RUPA Chief Executive Justin Harrison said: “The professional sporting landscape has been met with unprecedented challenges that have required pragmatic and transparent problem solving between all parties in agreeing an extended CBA V.
“The Players have consistently recognised a very important role in adopting measures that recognise the uncertain times that the Rugby eco-system continues to operate in, whilst safeguarding important guidelines and frameworks around the industrial employment conditions in which they operate.
“RUPA is committed to continue to work as a partner in the game with a solution-based focus in order to ensure the player journey through the sport of Rugby Union is a rewarding and supportive experience.”