A new CBA agreement has borne fruitful results for the ladies of the WNBA. all we can say is it’s about damn time. New salaries are said to reach six figures, a sharp increase in salaries. This package also is said to have maternity leave bonuses as well.
The sun is shining on the WNBA finally. Players are now said to receive a 53% increase in this new collective bargaining agreement. Along with that, there will maternity and fertility benefits along with a season schedule overhaul. This news is massive for WNBA players who have been petitioning for better pay for years. With the recent salary increase and TV deal with the NBA, WNBA players have been petitioning for bigger salaries with fervor. They had been petitioning for years, however, it was only a matter of time before their wishes became reality after the mega tv deal with the NBA.
The 2020 season will include a newly installed in-season tournament, something that ha been in NBA headlines for a while. This tournament will change salaries, making performance-based increases on top of base salaries. Along with the already increased benefits, travel accommodations including private economy class flights are included in this new agreement. The WNBA’s first commissioner made a statement Tuesday on the agreement.
“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,”- Cathy Englebert, WNBA Commissioner “We found common ground in areas that confirmed the league’s and the players’ intentions to not only make meaningful improvements in working conditions and overall professional experience, but also to improve the business with strategic planning and intentional marketing that will keep the WNBA front and center year-round.”
Here is a list of key benefits from the new agreement per CNBC
Minimum of $1.6 million in off-season league and team marketing agreements, that both recognize top performance and highlight the diversity of the league, and would create up to $300,000 in additional annual cash compensation for select players.
o Minimum of $750,000 in prize money for special competitions beginning with the 2021 season.
o New 50-50 revenue sharing beginning with the 2021 season, based on the league achieving revenue growth targets from broadcast agreements, marketing partnerships and licensing deals.
o Increases in cash bonuses for performance awards (such as for WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year), and newly created cash bonuses (such as for each player named to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team).
Quality of travel elements:
o Premium Economy class status (such as Comfort/Economy Plus) for all players for regular-season air travel.
o Individual hotel room accommodations for every player.
o A collaborative effort to address travel concerns through the Player Advisory Panel.
Motherhood and family planning elements:
o Players to receive full salary while on maternity leave.
o A new annual childcare stipend of $5,000.
o Two-bedroom apartments for players with children.
o Workplace accommodations that provide a comfortable, safe and private place for nursing mothers.
o New, progressive family planning benefits of up to a $60,000 reimbursement for veteran players for costs directly related to adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation or fertility/infertility treatment.
With a base salary of at least $130,000, and salaries to reach at least 500,000 for top-performing players, this new agreement proves to be unprecedented in the advancement for the league. Last year, the average salary was 116,000, now with base salaries of $130,000, WNBA players finally are getting what they deserve. However, they are far from finished. This stepping stone, although massive is only a small foot forward in the long journey for equality and rightful play for WNBA players. with an average salary of 7.5 million for NBA players, expect an even heavier push for more money from WNBA players.
As the NBA continues to generate revenue with their massive TV deal, The WNBA should rise in revenue as well. This new deal for the WNBA is set to last through 2027, hopefully, when that deal is up, even high salaries for WNBA players will be available.