The WNBA and WNBPA agreed to a new CBA. Increased compensation and enhanced travel and maternity standards are among the benefits.
The Women’s National Basketball Association and Women’s National Basketball Players Association have tentatively agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
This new deal is pending approval from the players and the league’s Board of Governors. It is set to run through 2027
“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,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a league-issued statement. “I want to thank the players, led by WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike and the WNBPA Executive Committee, as well as WNBPA Executive Director Terri Jackson, for their hard work, innovative thinking and professionalism throughout the process. I also want to thank the league’s Labor Relations Committee and Board of Governors for their investment, commitment and leadership as we look forward to working together to make the WNBA a sustainable and thriving business for generations of women’s basketball players to come.”
Among the developments is a planned 53 percent increase in total compensation. Top players will be able to earn over $500,000. After this deal, the average league salary will reach six figures for the first time in league history (circa $130,000).
New contributions to the compensation include “prize pools for newly created in-season competitions”. The minimum is set at $750,000 with competition hypothesized to begin in 2021.
Players will also earn compensation through base salary, performance bonuses, and league and team marketing deals. A minimum of $1.6 million has been set aside.
“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,” Oguwumike, currently of the Los Angeles Sparks said in the same statement. “Cathy Engelbert, the first WNBA Commissioner, brought her perspective as a former women’s basketball student-athlete, her experience as a business professional and her passion for the game to these negotiations.”
Other benefits to the CBA include improved travel and maternity conditions. Players will receive a full salary while on maternity leave. League mothers will also be provided a two-bedroom apartment during the season as well as a yearly childcare stipend of $5,000.
The full CBA statement can be viewed here.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490.