Rugby Australia (RA) declared “good progress” had been made as emergency pay talks with the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) continued, though an agreement is yet to be reached between both parties.
The governing body recently stood down 75 per cent of its workforce for three months – a move described as “the toughest decision in the game’s history” – as it deals with the cost of the coronavirus crisis that has halted the Super Rugby season.
Remaining staff have been offered significant salary reductions or reduced hours, with chief executive Raelene Castle agreeing to a 50 per cent salary cut, while other executives will receive 30 per cent less from April 1 until June 30.
In a statement, RA said “positive and robust” negotiations were held with RUPA again as they aim to work out a “fair and reasonable” deal for players during the unprecedented circumstances created by the global pandemic.
The players understand that the burden must be shared by everyone in our game and we will look to reach an agreement which is fair and reasonable given the extraordinary circumstances we are in. END
— Rugby Australia (@RugbyAU) April 5, 2020
“Representatives of Rugby Australia and the Rugby Union Players Association met again today and made good progress in the process of negotiating an emergency and interim pay deal in response to the global COVID-19 crisis,” a statement read.
“Talks were positive and robust, with both parties agreeing to continue to move negotiations forward with ongoing discussions scheduled for this week.
“Rugby Australia remains focused on securing a fair and reasonable deal with the players that will help protect the long-term future of our game.
“We also welcome recent comments by World Rugby as it assists all national unions to navigate through this very difficult time.
“The players understand that the burden must be shared by everyone in our game and we will look to reach an agreement which is fair and reasonable given the extraordinary circumstances we are in.”
A plan was put in place to start a five-team domestic competition during the suspension of Super Rugby, but that will not happen until the start of May at the earliest.
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