Collective bargaining agreement finalised, contracting window to open next week

A collective bargaining agreement between Netball Australia, the Australian Netball Players’ Association and the eight clubs in the National Netball League has been agreed.

The deal means the contracting window for teams will open Monday 19 September 2016, with The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds to announce its 10-player 2017 squad soon after.

Each club will have up to $675,000 to spend on its list of 10 contracted athletes, with the minimum salary increased to $27,375 from $13,250 in 2016.

Netball Australia Deputy Chief Executive Marne Fechner said the deal represented a landmark day for netball.

“Today’s announcement represents a giant step in our collective aspiration to achieve full-time professionalism for all of our athletes,” Fechner said.

“We wanted to set the benchmark for women’s sport and we absolutely believe that we have achieved this with the new collective playing agreement.”

Netball Queensland Head of High Performance Richard McInnes said negotiations with Firebirds players were progressing well and he looked forward to unveiling the squad to fans.

“The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds will field a strong line-up in 2017,” McInnes said.

“Moving into this exciting new landscape, we are very excited at the prospect of retaining the core of our side which will provide us with a high level of cohesion from round one.

“History indicates it is hard to buy a premiership in any sport and teams that develop talent and build outstanding performance cultures have success. That’s what we are seeking to continue at the Firebirds in 2017.”