Pay rise for AFL umpires
The AFLUA and AFL are also discussing a potential move towards full-time umpires. Photo: Paul Rovere
Umpires have struck a deal that will have the top earners among their ranks making as much as $150,000 per season by 2016.
That would include bonus payments for field umpires who officiate in finals and the grand final.
Top boundary and goal umpires will make about $60,000.
The five-year agreement includes a backdated seven per cent pay rise for this year, with further five, four, three and three per cent increases over the next four seasons.
"Umpire recruitment and retention is a major challenge for our game and we hope that this agreement for umpires provides the platform for an appealing and supportive environment for any AFL umpire," AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson said.
AFL umpires association (AFLUA) chief executive Peter Howe said while umpires worked part-time, often in combination with other jobs, they deserved their new pay deal for what is a demanding and time-consuming profession.
The 32 field umpires had only a six-week break before starting pre-season training.
In season, along with match duties and two weekly training nights, they are given individual training programs and attend frequent coaching sessions.
"If you just look at the salaries in isolation and you don't look at the work expected, you might get the wrong idea," Howe said.
The AFLUA and AFL are also discussing a potential move towards full-time umpires, although Howe said there was debate as to whether decision-making would improve enough to make it worthwhile.
They are also devising ways to educate umpires on handling integrity threats such as approaches from bookmakers.