Cricket strike would be last resort, says Marsh
Union boss Paul Marsh says Australia’s top cricketers are not ruling out strike action if the June 30 deadline passes without a new pay agreement.
Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) chief Marsh is at loggerheads with Cricket Australia (CA) over negotiations for a new five-year deal.
Although it’s seen as a last resort by Marsh, Australia’s participation in the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in September could be under threat, along with Australia’s one-day international tour of England in June-July.
CA has put state and Big Bash contract talks on hold under the threat of a $50,000 fine until a new agreement is signed.
“You can’t rule anything out. I don’t want this to sound like the players are all preparing to go on strike because that’s not the case at all,” Marsh told SEN Radio on Monday.
“That type of action is an absolute last resort.”
Marsh said if a new deal couldn’t be agreed upon by June 30, the ACA would prefer to keep the current deal rolling along in the short term.
“If Cricket Australia don’t want to do that, then we’re forced with a decision to make,” Marsh said.
“We either accept the position that they put forward or we look at what our other options are.
“We should be making sure we know what all the different options are so if that time comes, we can sit down with the players and say `what do you want to do?’”
Marsh said negotiations were at a stalemate.
He said CA wanted a sliding-scale deal on the back of what came out of the Argus Review last year.
“That would see the potential for the players to earn less than 26 per cent if their performances fall below a certain benchmark, but more than 26 per cent for performances that go above that benchmark,” Marsh said.
“We’re pretty close on that particular issue, but we haven’t actually reached agreement on it.
“(But) Cricket Australia is basically trying to take certain revenue streams that we’ve got for the last 15 years out of that pool.
“Their rationale is that they’re low-margin revenue streams and therefore it’s not affordable for cricket to keep giving players 26 per cent of those.
“We’ve always just put them all into a pot and bundled them together and we’ve come up with an amount at 26 per cent.
“That’s where there’s a fair bit of angst from us.
“We’re not asking for anything more than we’ve currently got but at this stage they’re not prepared to do a deal on that basis.”
Marsh estimated the figure at $30 million over a five-year period.
“It’s not as though we’re being offered anything in return for giving that up,” he said.© AAP 2013
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