Stood down: Cricket Australia makes agonising call
Cricket Australia employees will learn on Friday whether they're part of a skeleton staff that will continue working in coming months, with the majority to be stood down on 20 per cent pay for the rest of the financial year. CA has become the country's latest sporting organisation forced to take drastic and unprecedented action amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governing body's employees learned on Thursday afternoon they would, with the exception of some staff, be forced to down tools from April 27 until the end of June because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Players, whose national contracts for 2020-21 had already been delayed because of financial uncertainty created by the health crisis, are currently on leave as the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) mulls its next step. CA is in the process of finalising its list of essential staff that will stay on deck, with chief executive Kevin Roberts to break that news on Friday. It's believed that stood-down employees will be paid either 20 per cent of their salary or the JobKeeper payment of $1,500 per fortnight, whichever is greater. CA's eligibility for the JobKeeper subsidy, part of the the federal government's coronavirus stimulus package, is yet to be rubber stamped.
It is possible some workers will work reduced hours or days throughout the uncertain period.
Roberts and CA's executive had already taken pay cuts.
The organisation started cost-cutting measures after the health crisis triggered a premature end to its season, with a trans-Tasman ODI series and the Sheffield Shield final both scrapped.
The sport is in a better situation than the AFL and NRL, both locked in tense negotiations on several fronts as they attempt to map out a resumption of seasons.
But uncertainty abounds about coming months and how the next home summer, featuring the Twenty20 World Cup and a lucrative Test series against India, will be affected.
Pat Cummins is among the notable stars to have recently voiced their intent to "take some of that (financial) pain", with international and domestic players having entered a revenue-sharing agreement after a bitter public pay dispute in 2017.
CA's workforce is incredibly diverse, ranging from community cricket to high- performance support staff who travel the globe with the national squads. State associations are still digesting Roberts' bombshell.
The South Australia Cricket Association (SACA) had already halted its search for a new men's coach and announced a range of belt-tightening measures, including redundancies and pay cuts.
"We are conscious of the impact this (pandemic) will have on Australian cricket and are working hard to manage that proactively," CA said in a statement. "We will continue to seek advice from medical experts and relevant government agencies to ensure the health and safety of our people, volunteers and communities, and to return to business as soon as possible."
CA employees, with the exception of skeleton staff, will be forced to down tools from April 27 until the end of June because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2019-20 cricket season wasn't badly affected by the health crisis, but uncertainty abounds about coming months and the next summer.
Originally published as Stood down: Cricket Australia makes agonising call