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SARU responds to losing arbitration battle

REACTION: The South African Rugby Union said it has noted the outcome of the proceedings of an arbitration hearing in respect of the rest periods for contracted provincial players, announced on Monday.

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The Arbitrator had been asked to rule in a dispute between the players’ union, MyPlayers, and the South African Rugby Employers’ Organisation.

SARU was named as a second respondent in the case.

MyPlayers asked the arbitrator to rule on a clause in the players’ collective agreement, which defines the terms and conditions of employment of contracted players.

The players’ union argued that the terms required provinces to simultaneously rest contracted players for eight concurrent weeks in any 12-month period.

SAREO argued that the collective agreement was being misinterpreted and that the resting period did not provide for a rest period for all contracted players at the same time, nor that such a rest period had to be compulsorily taken within a 12-month window.

MyPlayers quotes - arbitration victory

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The Arbitrator, Advocate IC Brembridge, agreed with SARPA.

He ruled that the rest period for all provincial players must occur at the same time, but ruled that there was not a contractual requirement that such rest period must start no later 12 months from the start of the previous rest period.

A SARU spokesperson said that the organisation was consulting with its members as well as MyPlayers to consider the fixture scheduling implications of the award.

MyPlayers quotes - arbitration victory 3

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