AFL boss meets with union, players over CBA dispute

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has met with AFLW player delegates in a bid to resolve the dispute over a new collective bargaining agreement for the NAB AFL Women's competition.

McLachlan joined AFL Players Association CEO Paul Marsh, head of AFLW Nicole Livingstone and AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking in a meeting with key players on Monday, just one day before the NAB AFLW Draft. 

Uncertainty remains over the AFLW competition for 2020 with the length of the season and pre-season start dates yet to be agreed after players rejected a proposed CBA for a second time earlier this month.

Only 70 per cent of players voted to approve the deal in early October.

The AFLPA has set its own requirement that 75 per cent of players must approve a CBA for it to be adopted. 

However, McLachlan said progress had been made during Monday's meeting.

"There is no doubt everyone involved in women's football are aligned on the key goal of creating a strong, sustainable and successful AFLW competition," he said.

"Our game has been so well served by the many women who have fought hard over the years and been so instrumental in getting us to where we are as a competition. We welcome and appreciate the commitment, passion and openness of the current playing group in advocating for greater opportunities for female players. 

"Today's meeting was an important discussion, especially to hear directly from representatives of the playing group and to listen to their concerns, and to be able to provide greater clarity and certainty around those issues that they can relay to the wider AFLW playing group.  

"We were grateful to the AFLPA and the players for both their time and their strong commitment in working to drive the growth of women's football over the coming years. 

"I look forward to attending the NAB AFLW Draft tomorrow and seeing the next wave of talent fulfil their dreams and run out for one of the 14 AFLW teams in season four." 

Since the most recent rejection of the deal, the AFLPA has met with players from the clubs that recorded a majority vote against the CBA in a bid to resolve their concerns. 

In that draft agreement, the AFLW season was set to start in late November with round one to take place in early February.   

Players are expected to vote on a new CBA for a third time in the days following Tuesday's draft, when more than 100 players will find new AFLW homes.