The WNBA and WNBPA announced via a joint statement Tuesday that the sides had come to terms on a groundbreaking new collective bargaining agreement that puts average players' salaries in the six figures and nearly triples the compensation of the league's superstars.
This new 2020 agreement is aimed directly at increasing player salary and compensation, improving overall player experience, as well as a commitment to implement an integrated marketing plan for the league. Other players earn $ 200,000-3 million.
With these new rules in place, WNBA players are now in the best position they've ever been in.
"We approached these negotiations with a player-first agenda, and I am pleased that this agreement guarantees substantial increases in compensation and progressive benefits for the women of the WNBA", Commissioner Cathy Engelbert of the WNBA said in a statement.
There will also be a whole plethora of new opportunities, as outlined below. The contract proposes a 50-50 split between players and the WNBA based on the achievement of revenue growth targets from broadcast agreements, marketing partnerships and licensing deals.
"I was adamant on the 50-50 target", WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told AP.
Changes to the CBA should also allow for more freedom for player movement beginning in the free agency period ahead of the 2021 season.
Living: The league's teams, which provide housing, will now guarantee two-bedroom apartments for players with children.
The league is also introducing family planning benefits of up to a $60,000 reimbursement for veteran players for costs directly related to adoption, surrogacy and fertility treatment. If you're a WNBA fan, this should be great news as it's a big step forward for women's sports leagues. Maybe each National Basketball Association team could hire one WNBA player or former player. The league allows WNBA teams to pay its players a combined $50,000 in the offseason to stay around. Her pay for this season right now is around the same amount for now.
The bottom line per NYT's Howard Megdal: "The implications of the agreement stretch far beyond basketball at a time when women around the world are demanding increased pay and benefits, on their own merit and as a challenge to historically unequal pay that leaves them earning less than men for similar work".
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