The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the Women's National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) announced today that they have reached an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), pending ratification by the players and the league's Board of Governors. The agreement also offers improved family benefits, travel standards and other improvements in health and well-being. "The CBA guarantees substantial (financial) increases". The way we are paying these players is different than the past. I think we came in understanding that it wasn't just about the top players, it wasn't just about the rookies. Top players such as Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird will be able to earn over $500,000 of base salary. What has also been consistent is the relatively low average salary. "Everyone gets an increase here".
'I was adamant on the 50-50 target, ' Engelbert said.
"With cautious optimism and trusting the league's renewed commitment and investment, the players demonstrated a willingness to "lean in" themselves and show an even greater commitment and investment in the W", WNBPA Executive Director Terri Jackson stated. We have to hit a number of goals.
If you have not lived under a rock, have negative or indifferent feelings about women's sport, this is a problem that WNBA players have been struggling with for years.
The eight-year agreement has a mutual opt-out provision after six years.More news: Supergirl Spinoff Superman and Lois Officially Greenlit by The CW
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert poses for a photo with the WNBA MVP trophy during Game Two of the WNBA Semi Finals on September 19, 2019 at the St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, DC.
CATHY ENGELBERT: We came together.
Changes to the CBA should also allow for more freedom for player movement beginning in the free agency period ahead of the 2021 season. Former league MVP Breanna Stewart tore an Achilles tendon overseas a year ago and missed the entire WNBA season. Previous revenue sharing provided only about 20% option for revenue sharing.
'Teams and owners are stepping up.
The hard work of the players and the league's biggest supporters has paid off. People are listening.More news: Big Ben won't bong for Brexit
The WNBA is making strides to improve the salary and overall career of its players. AT&T, Nike and Deloitte are the inaugural three business partners. "We are really hoping that it can set the tone and really create that legacy for women and sports moving forward".
The competition is also expanding its schedule with a few games and this year is adding an in-season Commissioner's Cup tournament.
The WNBA also will work with the NBA and its developmental league and college basketball to promote players for coaching opportunities. The designation gives teams exclusive negotiating rights with that player.
The new CBA addresses all those issues.
Premium Economy class status (such as Comfort/Economy Plus) for all players for regular-season air travel. In the past, players flew coach and some shared rooms. Along with this new addition, there is a possible $5,000 stipend that is titled "an annual child care stipend". WNBA members who want to begin a family by exploring alternative family planning methods will be reimbursed up to $60,000 for fees relating to adoption, surrogacy, freezing eggs for later use or other fertility treatments.More news: First Flu-Related Death in SLO County