Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Let’s talk

Speid responds as players clarify wage proposal and call for a return to negotiation table

Published:Thursday | April 1, 2021 | 12:21 AMLivingston Scott - Gleaner Writer
Speid
Speid
National defender Damion Lowe (left) leads the Reggae Boyz on to the field at the National Stadium in 2019 to take on Honduras in a Concacaf Gold Cup match.
National defender Damion Lowe (left) leads the Reggae Boyz on to the field at the National Stadium in 2019 to take on Honduras in a Concacaf Gold Cup match.
1
2

Members of Jamaica’s senior men’s football team yesterday sought to clarify their position and called for a return to negotiations in their wage dispute with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), forcing a response from JFF official Rudolph Speid...

Members of Jamaica’s senior men’s football team yesterday sought to clarify their position and called for a return to negotiations in their wage dispute with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), forcing a response from JFF official Rudolph Speid, who accused the players of being disingenuous.

The players, through a release, outlined their latest proposal to the JFF and responded to sentiments that their request was excessive while noting that their issues went beyond remuneration and included player welfare and governance concerns.

They also stated that they are awaiting a response from the JFF’s top brass to this latest offer.

“On March 8, 2021, members of Jamaica’s National Senior Men’s team offered contracts by the Jamaica Football Federation submitted a counter-offer for the Gold Cup, International Friendlies, and World Cup Qualifiers, with the following highlighted, proposed terms: US$2,000 ($291,000) for the Gold Cup plus bonuses in response to the JFF’s offer of US$500 ($73,000) per match; US$3,000 ($437,000) plus bonuses for the World Cup Qualifiers in response to the JFF’s offer of US$2,000 per match; US$2,000 per match for Concacaf Top 5 International Friendlies; and US$3,000 for top 30-ranked FIFA teams,” stated the release.

“With two months to go for preparation, the players are keen to finalise the negotiations with the Federation and appreciate that the coaching staff require closure to this issue so that they can select their best possible team. They, therefore, trust that the Federation will meet them on the path to resolution in the country’s best interest and remain committed to making Jamaica proud,” the release further stated.

However, Speid, who chairs the JFF’s Technical Committee, pointed out that the organisation had already responded to the players’ counter-proposal with an offer of their own, which is yet to be acknowledged.

Speid, who also encouraged a return to negotiations and suggested that the players were not up date on the discussions, questioned the motive of the release.

“Everyone knew their original offer was US$10,000 ($1.4 million), so they are a little bit disingenuous to let it sound as if this was their original offer. There seems to be confusion because we got that particular counter-offer to our offer, and we have responded already to their lawyer, so to bring it up back, like we didn’t say anything about it, is just not true,” Speid shared.

“We have made a counter-offer, and the lawyer has it, so they need to stop negotiating on two fronts. They need to have one voice speaking for them. This offer is old. We are past that stage. They need to get up to date on what is happening,” added Speid.

He agreed, though, that the matter needed to be resolved as soon as possible, considering the upcoming Concacaf Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers assignments.

“We are happy to negotiate. We want all the players to be eligible as we move forward. I think we are the closest we have ever been because the players and the JFF want to be of one accord and come to an agreement and move on,” Speid shared

“The players say they want to (come to an agreement) and we want to, but at the same time it cannot be at all cost. It has to be at a reasonable cost where both parties are satisfied because when you negotiate, you will never get all that you want. So we need to decide what we can live with.

“So as soon as the players decide to come back to the table and negotiate, we are ready,” he added.

He added that in the release, the players also proposed a negotiating regime to manage communication and disputes in order to mitigate unwarranted conflict that could distract stakeholders.

However, he does not believe that they are doing a good job of this on their part.

“They are social media throwing words on (JFF) personnel, and a lot of the things being said are not true, and some players and some people are getting carried away. I don’t know what they are trying to prove with this release and these utterances. All I know [is] that [this] is not the way to go.

“All they need to do is come to the table and finish the negotiations because we are ready to talk. So come and talk,” Speid said.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com