47 of Rugby Australia’s 142 full-time staff have been informed they will leave the company as the organisation looks to save $5.5 million in expenses.
Combined with major job cuts, retained senior staff were asked to take a five-percent pay cut when the changes come into effect. Added to this, as many as thirty contractors and casual staff saw their contracts immediately terminated.
‘Today was an incredibly difficult day for the organisation with many people affected by changes that are necessary to ensure the viability and sustainability of the organisation as a result of the devastating impacts of the pandemic,’ said RA interim CEO Rob Clarke.
‘We have delivered the news to staff this morning and told them that Rugby Australia values the contribution of each and every one of them, some of whom have given significant service to Rugby Australia and to the game over many years.
‘This is a difficult time for a lot of very passionate, hard-working rugby people and we are committed to helping those people find their next opportunity, whether it be within the game or elsewhere.’
The next phase of the restructure will involve state and territory unions.
‘Today we have announced phase one of the restructure of the rugby landscape, and the next phase will focus on the role of Rugby Australia and the member unions to find further opportunities for savings and efficiencies in the way we deliver our rugby programmes and administrative operations across each of our businesses,’ added Clarke.
‘This second phase involves a significant piece of work that will be managed carefully over the coming months working closely with the leaders of each of the organisations looking at both the delivery of the professional game, and the community game across each state and territory.’
The executive staff at RA saw their salaries cut by 30% while Australia’s professional players took on an average 60% salary reduction.