Footballers battle for better pay, collective agreement

With industrial disputes breaking out on wharves and warehouses around the country, conflict is also brewing between those who kick the roundball on the nation's football (soccer) pitches and those who administer the game.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) is locked in a long-running dispute with players — represented by their union, the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) — over a new collective bargaining agreement.

The PFA is seeking a better pay deal for the national men's team (Socceroos) and national women's team (Matildas), as well as an A-League salary cap and wage rise.

The existing agreement ran out more than two months ago, yet the FFA unilaterally announced new A-League salary measures on August 11. Players were angered by this calculated snub to their union.

Socceroos midfielder Matt McKay said were “shocked and disappointed” by FFA’s actions, said on August 19.

“[FFA] then came out with these new player contracts and regulations — but we’re still supposed to be negotiating,” he said. “It seems they’re just not interested in our views.”

Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak warned the FFA that players had resolved to not settle for less than they feel they deserve, said. “The players can’t accept a deal that we believe will not allow the game to achieve its potential,” he said.

Jedinak said: “The PFA has the complete backing of the players. The PFA has and always will act in the best interests of the game.”

The Australian wrote on August 24: “The warring parties, who have been at loggerheads for almost 12 months, will meet for the second time in five days in Sydney amid expectations the matter could take significant strides towards resolution.”

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