NRL CBA stalemate will continue through state of origin period after club bosses CANCEL meeting with players over settlement deal
- Ongoing wage dispute deadlock will continue
- Game-wide CBA is now seven months overdue
- Players union boss Clint Newton is furious
- Called on the 17 NRL clubs to be more proactive
- NSW star Cam Murray called the situation ‘exhausting’
Frustrated players’ union boss Clint Newton has spoken out against the NRL and its clubs for not being proactive in resolving the ongoing wage disputes, as long-running talks reached a new deadlock.
The game-wide collective bargaining agreement (CBA), originally due to be finalized in November, is now seven months late, with NSW State of Origin star Cameron Murray labeling the situation as “exhausting” and “disappointing” on Thursday.
The Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) were confident they could finalize a deal by the end of May when they submitted a settlement proposal to the NRL last week.
But there are now fears that the offer, which included more than 30 unresolved issues, may have inadvertently slowed down the process.
It is believed that several proposals were included in the offer that had not previously been fully discussed.
Frustrated players union boss Clint Newton has lashed out at the NRL and its 17 clubs for not being proactive in resolving the ongoing pay disputes.
The game-wide collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is now seven months overdue, with NSW Origin star Cameron Murray (pictured) labeling the situation as ‘exhausting’
While there was no request for additional funding, the offer included proposed changes to the minimum wage for the next five years, the way private health insurance is paid, and the transfer system.
The NRL met with clubs on Wednesday morning to discuss the offer and while it will certainly take until next week to gather feedback to the RLPA, it is already clear that the proposal will be rejected.
Club bosses subsequently withdrew from a meeting with senior players scheduled for Wednesday night, where the likes of Daly Cherry-Evans and Christian Welch had hoped to explain their position.
That has frustrated the players’ union, which is adamantly trying to move negotiations forward and want a solution following a 12-month extension of the previous collective agreement agreed last November.
“Slowing things down is the [17 NRL] clubs that are not present for a meeting with their players on Wednesday night,” said Newton.
”[Also] slowing things down is that the NRL is not taking up our offer to personally present our settlement proposal to their management team.
“If those two options were addressed, we would be closer to an agreement or problem resolution.
“But we have not met with either side, despite opportunities being presented and left to interpretation as to how to respond to our settlement proposal.
NRL club bosses pulled out of a meeting with senior players scheduled for Wednesday night, where the likes of Daly Cherry-Evans (pictured) hoped to explain their position
“It is up to NRL management to understand the context and details of our settlement proposal before taking it to the ARL committee so that they can make an informed decision before accepting or rejecting it.”
The NRL would not comment publicly on the negotiations on Thursday, but has long maintained that they want to end talks quickly with a deal that suits both parties.
Headquarters also insisted that clubs had not been advised to cancel their meeting with the union and that they themselves were always open to meetings with RLPA officials.
The NRL have also remained adamant that they are willing to compromise with the players and have done so in previous offers.
The union also believes they have offered a compromise in their settlement offer, which is to allow the NRL to build a $300 million asset base before sharing the over-expected revenue with players.
“Both sides were directed by the independent negotiator to break the deadlock,” Newton said.
“We tried to speed things up that came to a complete standstill. We want peace, not another wasted episode in this CBA’s antics.”