The Victorian Jockeys Association is seeking a better deal for its members. Picture: David Crosling
The Victorian Jockeys Association is seeking a better deal for its members. Picture: David Crosling

Resolution in jockeys’ pay dispute draws closer

RACING Victoria is hopeful of a swift resolution to the pay dispute with jockeys as negotiations continue over the riding fee agreement.

Talks over the enterprise bargaining agreement on Thursday  were described as "constructive" as the Victorian Jockeys' Association pushes for the current $200 riding fee to be increased.

"We've had a constructive discussion with the VJA today on the riding dee agreement and both parties are committed to finalising the agreement as soon as possible," an RV spokesperson said.

"Whilst the matter remains under consideration, we are hopeful of reaching a resolution shortly."

VJA chief executive Matt Hyland and president Stephen Baster met RV executives while a ban on jockeys talking to media remained in place.

The meeting came as former rider Katelyn Mallyon said jockeys deserved a pay rise, but doubted if an increase would markedly improve the lot of battlers.

Former jockey Katelyn Mallyon says jockeys deserved a pay rise, but she doubts if battling jockeys will be winners. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
Former jockey Katelyn Mallyon says jockeys deserved a pay rise, but she doubts if battling jockeys will be winners. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

"I think the whole system needs to be remodelled - I don't know how we're going to do that," Mallyon told RSN.

"It's nice the Jockeys' Association is doing something, but I don't think it's going to be the answer.

"It's only going to help the top jockeys - because you're still going to have the exact same problem, and the rich are only going to get richer, aren't they?

"It's a hard one. I can see both sides of the story.

"I can see where the Victorian Jockeys' Association are coming from - I'm not sure how much money they're wanting.

Veteran jockey Dean Yendall talks to connections at a Caulfield meeting. Picture: David Crosling
Veteran jockey Dean Yendall talks to connections at a Caulfield meeting. Picture: David Crosling

"I've seen the differences in Victorian racing and New South Wales, and there's a huge difference with the workload of jockeys.

"In Melbourne, jockeys are expected to go to every race meeting, including country meetings, and do trials, jump-outs and night meetings, so the workload's tireless.

"I can understand why they want an increase."

The VJA believes a three-fold increase in night and twilight meetings since the last EBA in 2015 merits an increase in fees.

Jockeys also argue an expectation to complete unpaid work such as riding in jump-outs is unreasonable.

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