The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) today signed a historic Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)/Memorandum Of Understanding at the Accra Beach Hotel. It was the second such agreement over the past ten years.
Chief executive officer and president of WIPA, Wavell Hinds, along with WICB president Wycliffe Cameron and chief executive officer of the WICB Michael Muirhead signed the agreement which was witnessed by chairman of selectors, Clive Lloyd, and the new director of West Indies cricket, Richard Pybus.
Hinds told the media that they were pretty happy with the agreement which was 80 per cent of what they wanted. He added a lot of sacrifices had been made in order to get what they wanted.
“Eighty per cent of what we want is in it [the document] and as we go along we will work to fine-tune the document. It is a step in the right direction to put West Indies cricket administratively on par with all of the other cricketing nations around the world. We are setting up a franchise that will certainly put us on par in how we prepare our teams territorially and regionally so that we can move the West Indies cricket team up the ladder from eight to the other side of the number line closer to one,” he said.
The president said this agreement when compared to the last document covered everyone in full whereas the previous document spoke to the general side of West Indies cricket.
“The difference for me is that we looked at West Indies cricket on a whole and the last document spoke to the general side of West Indies cricket. But we then looked at persons who primarily played international cricket. Yes, the first class cricketers were taken care of and as you saw with that document we had about two strike period – 2003 and 2009 – trying to fight for better wages for regional cricketers. This document covers everybody in full. And we have gone about signing on the women in August this year and this document would not have catered for that but going forward we would cater for that now they are under the umbrella,” Hinds said.
He added: “We are prepared to take the ladies under our belts and to make sure they are looked after so we can have a full professional West Indies unit moving forward. . . We are behind this and we are prepared to take the trouble that comes with it but we are also prepared to put our heads together and find solutions to make it a fruitful relationship.”
The former West Indies player said that changes could be made to coaches, managers and captains as had been done for the past fifteen years. But he added that if the results remained consistently bad and the West Indies remained at the bottom of the ratings, other changes had to be made in order to take West Indies cricket back to its glory days.
Cameron give an idea of what was in the agreement which he said dealt with the percentage of the revenue that would go to the players. He said the agreement also dealt with how funds generated would be distributed to international and regional players.
“Everything is done in partnership, so the agreement is we do better as an organization, the players do better and that is the theme right through the agreement,” Cameron noted.