GPA and GAA resolve expenses dispute

Both organisations released a statement this evening revealing they had reached an agreement on a Players’ Charter for the 2022 season
GPA and GAA resolve expenses dispute

Gaelic Players Association chief executive Tom Parsons. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Despite there being no increase on the four training sessions a week that the GAA will cover players’ travel expenses, the GPA-GAA dispute is at an end as agreement has been reached on a Player Charter for 2022.

The deal, which is subject to approval by Central Council and the GPA’s National Executive Committee who meet separately this week, includes a removal of the cap on panel members entitled to claim mileage, which had stood at 32 players per panel during the two Covid-affected seasons.

Mileage will be paid to players at the agreed national rate - 65 cent per mile - for four sessions a week, with any additional sessions to be negotiated locally and borne by individual counties.

These additional collective gatherings, though, must be registered centrally to ensure a proper record is kept of the number of weekly sessions players are on the road for.

The lifting of the cap on panel sizes, which the GAA were initially against, and having a set number of collective gatherings a week that the GAA will pay mileage for, which the GPA were opposed to, shows both parties were willing to budge on certain positions in order to reach a final agreement.

The impasse arose last December when the GPA took umbrage with GAA attempts to keep in place cost-saving measures introduced during Covid times.

The dispute over player expenses and panel sizes had seen some players and managers avoid media duties in protest earlier in the season.

“All previously outstanding issues relating to travel expenses have been resolved. The GAA and GPA are committed to working together in a positive way in an effort to avoid similar issues arising in the future,” said a joint statement released on Monday evening.

There will be a new Player Charter drawn up for 2023, which is to be negotiated at the end of this year.

It has been agreed that a contact hours policy, recently considered by the GAA’s Sports Science Workgroup, represents a good basis for agreement on addressing the issues highlighted by players in the ESRI report and this will inform discussions later in the year.

The contact hours policy is a GPA-led proposal aimed at regulating the collective activity of senior inter-county teams.

What has also been agreed is that all student players are to be back paid an additional 15 cent per mile for the 2021 season, subject to a maximum payment of €250 per player.

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