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Posted by RLPA

November 11, 2022

Joint Board And Player Advisory Groups Statement

A statement from Dr. Deidre Anderson AM, RLPA Board of Directors Chair

As the proud Chair of the RLPA it is my duty, at every step, to act with integrity and in the best interests of our members. It is a responsibility that I take seriously and have committed myself to for many years now. At every Board meeting I am humbled by the love and enthusiasm our members have for their fellow players and the game.

The RLPA prides itself on its values of professionalism, courage, fairness and respect. We have taken these values into our CBA negotiations with the NRL and ARL Commission over the past year in the hope of negotiating in good faith, as true partners, to securing an agreement that the game can celebrate as industry leading.

At all times, the RLPA Board is composed of a minimum of 50% current players. Currently, we have two female and four male playing members sitting on our 12 person Board. Those six players are also members of our Player Advisory Groups who are crucial to bringing forward the views of the collective playing group, along with our Delegates at each of the NRL and NRLW clubs.

In light of recent media reports insinuating that the RLPA has not acted in the best interests of its members, our player leaders have issued the following statement.

A statement from the Player Advisory Groups

Our Men’s and Women’s Player Advisory Groups are made up of 22 of some of the most passionate, committed and knowledgeable people in the game. We proudly work alongside each other and the rest of the player Delegates in helping to advance the interests of the entire playing group. 

Six members of the Player Advisory Group are also Directors on the RLPA Board alongside Clint Newton and five of Australia’s most experienced and respected corporate executives. 

Since the RLPA first attempted to commence CBA negotiations 12 months ago, the Board and PAGs have been completely transparent with the entire playing group about the progress of discussions.

To have the Commission publicly claim that the wider playing group has been misled during the CBA negotiations, purely because we are refusing to roll over for the Commission, is not only false but offensive and demonstrates a lack of regard to the sophistication of the playing group. As leaders of the Players’ Association, we could not have been more transparent with the wider playing group around the status of the negotiations and why we have rejected unsuitable and sub-standard proposals put forward by the NRL on behalf of the Commission. 

Players have regularly attended CBA bargaining meetings, however not one Commissioner has attended a meeting. Not even once. It was for this reason that it was surprising to read comments from the Commission that accused both us as player leaders, and the RLPA as a whole, of misleading the playing group. This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

We would invite the Commission to join us at the table to better understand the position of the playing group and our clubs.

As player leaders we are also tasked with personally updating our relevant leaders once CBA meetings have concluded. We believe in the importance of transparency and inclusion which is why players are well briefed with the most recent and available information at all times.

At every opportunity we are being regularly updated as Directors or PAG members by the RLPA executive team and administration, who we work in tandem with. Along with our Delegates, we are transparent and open with our teammates on negotiations, and if there are any questions we answer them honestly and truthfully.

All we have asked for in recent weeks is to move away from the pointless CBA meetings with the NRL where no genuine progress is made. Instead, we want to come together and to begin genuinely bargaining. Not only is it insulting to have disparaging claims made about us publicly, but to see confidential bargaining positions of any party leaked to the media is extremely disappointing and counterproductive to good faith negotiations.

The RLPA will have more to say this afternoon when we share details in response to the unsatisfactory leaks of confidential information crucial to the good faith process of CBA negotiations.

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