All Black captain Richie McCaw confirmed yesterday evening that an important part of his agreeing to stay in New Zealand for the next four years rather than accept an offer to work overseas was that his employer, the Rugby Union, agreed to allow him to have working conditions such as a sabbatical leave written directly into his employment agreement.
Tertiary Update’s sports correspondent Paki Taunuhia says Mr McCaw is expressing his relief today that he and his team members were negotiating with the rugby union rather than the University of Auckland, where the employer is determined to remove employees’ control over working conditions relating to study leave.
Last week Rob Nichol, spokesperson for the Rugby Players Association, told the Dominion Post
“Over the past 10 or 12 years since we formed an association and had a say in decision-making we’ve been emphasising that it’s not just about the money, it’s about the whole environment and treating the athlete like an individual. Clearly the money on offer from the north is massive, but the sum of the parts of what New Zealand rugby was able to put on the table exceeded it and that is massively significant.”
Mr Taunuhia says that unlike the Rugby Union the University of Auckland is in the lucky position of not needing to worry about employees control over their working conditions because it is unlikely to lose its highly skilled staff to wealthier overseas competitors. Or not.