Players set out their principles for the future of the game
January 31, 2007
The Professional Rugby Players Association (PRA) have called for the creation of collective bargaining agreement to provide more strongent protections with regards to employment and the welfare needs of its members.
At the PRA AGM last Thursday, the Players Representatives discussed the current proposals being aired regarding a revised agreement between the RFU and PRL.
After a lengthy debate, it was unanimously agreed by the Board that the players needed more stringent protections with regards to their employment and welfare needs.
To that end the Board agreed that the Players Union should enter into a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Governing Bodies that mirrors the detail and established practice of professional sports across the world.
The proposed establishment of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Professional Rugby Players Association (PRA), the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premier Rugby Limited (PRL) would include the following key principles:
(B) Season Structure
*Ipsos MORI Player poll March 2006
Damian Hopley, CEO of the PRA stated, "The Long Form Agreement that deals with player welfare is still very ambiguous, and the players are now rightly looking for more detailed agreements and protections in any new context that may be being discussed between the RFU and the Clubs. To that end, we need to establish a New Professional Game Board, comprising all the major stakeholders, that is mandated to make the necessary dynamic decisions in the world of professional sport."
Hopley added, "A well structured Collective Bargaining Agreement will give all parties the necessary certainty and security in the industry, based on mutual trust and understanding. It will be a breakthrough development for rugby in this country."
He also stressed, "Whilst the RFU and the Clubs are currently discussing the issues pertinent to improved access to and compensation for the Elite Playing Squad, we must not lose sight of the fact that there are another 500 players plying their trade week in and week out in the Guinness Premiership and cup competitions.
"Any revised agreements must address ALL player welfare requirements and these are outlined in our objectives for any new structure in English rugby. The PRA are already involved in the ongoing work on season structure and are adamant that the players must never be put through the punishing schedule such as the one they faced over the recent Christmas period. The feedback from across the players and clubs has been very negative about the demands put upon them."
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