ARU defers negotiation of the collective bargaining agreement with players' union

THE ARU has deferred the re-negotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Rugby Union Players Association following the cancellation of a three-day workshop to resolve key issues.

Representatives from the ARU, RUPA and each of the five Super rugby franchises were to meet in Sydney two weeks ago, but the lock-in was called off at the last minute.
It is understood the ARU -- and some sections of RUPA -- would prefer to delay the re-negotiation until after the players association appoints a new chief executive.
Former RUPA chief Tony Dempsey resigned several weeks ago, but he has been retained as a consultant to renegotiate the agreement.
Dempsey did not always enjoy a strong working relationship with ARU chief executive John O'Neill and it is believed the national governing body would rather renegotiate the CBA with his successor.
"The lock-in was deferred for different reasons," acting RUPA chief Omar Hassanein said. "It was a mutual agreement."

An ARU spokesman said the negotiations had simply been put on hold.
Hassanein was not sure when the renegotiation with the ARU would recommence.
"We are in discussions about when it will happen," he said.
"It's a matter of finding a time that's in everyone's interests. It may be towards the end of this year and it may not be."
It is possible the CBA will not be renegotiated and the existing agreement will roll over.
In this event, the ARU and RUPA would look to make amendments and insertions to sections of the current deal.
"The introduction of the Melbourne Rebels and how they impact on the agreement is a key issue," Hassanein said.
Another issue is the ARU's proposal for a mini-draft, which would affect rookie players.