Rugby Australia are set to undergo a massive rebuild as they look to save $5.5 million by shedding over approximately one-third of its staff as well as reducing salaries.
RA revealed $9.4 million in losses in their 2019 financial report, with interim chief executive Rob Clarke announcing the degree of job cuts and reductions as the code looks to recover from its financial strains.
Over 75% of RA’s staff have been stood down or had their hours reduced since April 1 while many workers won’t return to their duties at all, with Clarke cull 47 of the 142 of their full-time staff in the next few months.
A further 30 casual and contracted workers have also had their positions with the organisation terminated effective immediately.
The list of reductions is believed to save $5.5 million from RA’s bill.
Senior staff who have been retained are also set to face a five percent reduction from their base salary, taking effect once they return.
“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,” Clarke said in a statement.
“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, hardworking Rugby people and we are committed to helping those people find their next opportunity, whether it be within the game or elsewhere.” Clarke said phase two of the restructure was under way and was examining the role of RA and the State and Territory Member Unions in delivering rugby across the country.
“The next phase is to find further opportunities for savings and efficiencies in the way we deliver our rugby programs and administrative operations across each of our businesses,” Clarke said.
RA announced they are currently working with Fox Sports in negotiating a new broadcasting schedule following the announcement that the Japan-based Sunwolves will not be partaking in a five-side domestic competition.
Negotiations for 2021 and beyond remain at a crossroads with SANZAAR lacking confidence in the ongoing format following the COVID-19 crisis that halted the completion in March.