Nation e-Edition

WICB ‘stumbling block’

West Indies Players Association chief executive officer Michael Hall has been trying to clear the air on the issue of retainer contracts for players. (FP)

Wed, October 24, 2012 - 12:03 AM

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has not met the conditions of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and that has caused the delay in the latest round of contractual talks between the two parties.

That is the word coming from WIPA chief executive officer Michael Hall, who was responding to statements made by WICB president Julian Hunte at a press conference on Monday morning at Kensington Oval.

Questioned about the state of the new retainer contracts, Hunte said at the time: “We have been asked by WIPA not to make any announcement just yet. We increased the number of contracts from 15 to 20 and WIPA has asked WICB not to issue the contracts and honestly, I do not know.

“They did not give a reason, but in order to avoid – especially – with a new CEO [Michael Muirhead] on board, we are waiting for them, and hopefully, very soon, we should get a response. We have not yet offered the contracts to the individuals, but I have a feeling that we have to let them know that they have been awarded the contracts,” Hunte added.  

But Hall moved swiftly to refute those comments.

In a press release issued yesterday, Hall pointed out that the collective bargaining agreement between the two bodies mandated that the WICB “provide certain assurances to WIPA on behalf of the players to whom retainer contracts will be offered, about the process and the terms and conditions of employment”.

Hall further noted that this had to be done before August 31 of every year so that the contracts could take effect on October 1.

The CEO further stated before players were issued contracts for the 2012 to 2013 season – which started on October 1 and will end September 30 – WICB must discuss the contracts with WIPA in light of the disputes which arose surrounding players Lendl Simmons, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Narsingh Deonarine and were before the courts.

WIPA further contended that former WICB CEO Dr Ernest Hilaire had sought to circumvent the process and it attempted to clear this up through written communication and “tried desperately” to set up a face-to-face meeting to settle the matter.

The two parties are scheduled to meet in Kingston, Jamaica, tomorrow and WIPA hopes the issue of contracts can be resolved. Other items up for discussion include whether appraisals had been done on players who were retained under the last contracts; information regarding sponsors for the upcoming season; and the proposed used of players intellectual property and image rights. (SAT)

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