Yesterday the WNBPA and the WNBA reached a historic agreement that included a 50-50 revenue sharing. This puts it on par with how the NBA is structured.
Travel has always been a problem as well. Although they won’t be traveling via chartered flights as the do in the NBA, they will be now flying in premium economy class on commercial airlines. They also will not be sharing hotel rooms with other players with each player getting her own room. There has been problems with getting to games at a reasonable time.
The following are the key elements in the new 2020 WNBA-WNBPA Collective Bargaining Agreement:
Additional cash compensation elements:
– 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.
– Minimum of $750,000 in prize money for special competitions beginning with the 2021 season.
– 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.
– 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:
– Premium Economy class status (such as Comfort/Economy Plus) for all players for regular-season air travel.
– Individual hotel room accommodations for every player.
– A collaborative effort to address travel concerns through the Player Advisory Panel.
Motherhood and family planning elements:
– Players to receive full salary while on maternity leave.
– A new annual childcare stipend of $5,000.
– Two-bedroom apartments for players with children.
– Workplace accommodations that provide a comfortable, safe and private place for nursing mothers.
– 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.
Free agency elements
– Unrestricted free agency available to players one year earlier than
under the prior agreement beginning with the free agency period leading
up to the 2021 season. Specifically, players who complete the playing
services called for in their contract and have five or more years of
service will become unrestricted free agents (if they are not designated
as a “Core” player).
– Reduction in the number of times a player can receive the “Core” designation – from four to three beginning with the 2020 season, dropping to two beginning with the 2022 season.
Career development and other quality of life elements:
– The WNBA will work with its affiliated leagues, teams and sponsors
to provide off-season job opportunities designed to prepare players for
their post-playing careers and will advance diversity in coaching
initiatives for veteran players interested in coaching careers.
– Enhanced mental health benefits and resources.
– An augmented and holistic domestic/intimate partner violence program that includes education and counseling.
– A joint Nutrition Council committed to identifying resources and address proper nutrition to optimize athletic performance.
– Access to experts in women’s health and representation on league policy committees.
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