The Premier Soccer League (PSL) and South African Football Players Union (Safpu) have signed an agreement that both parties believe will help improve working conditions for professional footballers in South Africa.
The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was signed in front of a press conference at the PSL offices in Parktown on Tuesday, reports the Sowetan.
PSL chairman Irvin Khoza‚ calling the agreement “historic”‚ said its objectives include:
- a new‚ improved Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) will not only meet the highest standards of South African law and the Fifa regulations‚ but have representation from clubs and all the players to deal with disputes;
- continuous improvement of the understanding‚ and training of clubs and players on a host of matters including compliance documentation‚ access to information‚ club licensing‚ anti-doping‚ the benefits and possibilities of internal dispute resolution‚ … insurance‚ … standard contracting procedures … .
- clear processes to ensure Safpu can have access to players at member clubs of the league at least twice a season;
Khoza said above providing guidelines‚ the agreement will help the PSL and Safpu reboot a confrontational relationship.
“We remain always committed to a resourceful engagement that goes back as far as 2002‚ when the first organisational rights agreement was concluded between the league and Safpu,” said Khoza.
“In recent times our relationship has been troubled by arguments about the level of representation Safpu enjoyed‚ the level of compliance with agreements that were in place‚ and arguments from both sides of the divide.
“This led to introspection and an effort from both sides to address the difficult issues and get the relationship back on track.
” … We are the only league on the continent‚ and one of a small grouping of the leading leagues in the world‚ to have entered into a collective bargaining agreement [of this nature].”
Safpu president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe said he believes the agreement will give the union greater standing to deal with its responsibility of protecting the interests of players.
“The CBA gives us an opportunity to address the issues that have been missing in football,” Gaoshubelwe said.
“As a players’ union we need to defend the players. That’s what we exist for.
“We need to deal with issues of contracts‚ contractual stability‚ and the responsibilities of the players and of the employers to their contracts.”
Speeding up the DRC process is also within the ambit of the agreement.