The WNBA and the WNBAPA reached an agreement on a new, eight-year collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) Tuesday, and the players picked up some significant wins in negotiations. WNBA players will receive better pay, more marketing opportunities and increased family benefits as part of the new agreement.
The league announced the news in a release Tuesday, in which it said the new CBA is aimed at improving “the overall player experience.”
The 2020 CBA features significant investments by the league and its teams aimed directly at increasing player salary and compensation, improvements to the overall player experience, resources specifically designed with the professional female athlete in mind, as well as a commitment to implement an integrated marketing plan league-wide.
The new CBA will run through the 2027 season.
WNBA players opted out of the previous CBA in November. The players have been outspoken about the desire to receive better pay, but that wasn’t their only concern. The players wanted the league to invest more in player marketing, better travel, and more family benefits.
The new CBA addresses all those issues. Under the new agreement, players will see a “53 percent increase in total cash compensation.” That includes player salaries, performance bonuses and marketing deals. Base pay for the best players in the league will increase from $117,500 to $215,000. The top players in the league can also earn “cash compensation in excess of $500,000.”
The league will invest at least $1.6 million in marketing, ensuring the league’s top talent gets recognized. Players will also move to premium economy class on regular-season flights. Each player will get their own hotel room on road trips.
Players will receive increased family benefits as part of the new CBA. WNBA players will receive full pay when they are out on maternity leave. Players will also receive a $5,000 stipend for childcare. The league also promises to provide “a safe and private place for nursing mothers.” For players who are looking to start a family, the league will offer a $60,000 reimbursement for “adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation or fertility/infertility treatment.”
The league will also provide job opportunities to players to better prepare them for their post-WNBA career. Players will have better mental health benefits and a better domestic-violence program focused on counseling and education.
Los Angeles Sparks forward Chiney Ogwumike praised the agreement in a Twitter thread, saying she was “soooo proud of our new WNBA CBA.” She ended that thread with, “We did this for the next generation. This is our legacy.”
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