The WNBA and the Women's National Players Association (WNBPA) announced this week they reached an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Negotiations were extended twice throughout the process, pushing the final deadline back to January 15.
The new eight-year CBA will be in play to start the 2020 WNBA season and will run through the completion of the 2027 season. The new CBA is a win for all with much to be celebrated from the increase of player salary and compensation, improvements to travel and player experience and the commitment to a league-wide strategic marketing plan.
"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," said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert per release.
Compensation: The new CBA involves a 53-percent increase in total cash compensation to include base salary, performance bonuses and prize pools for a league-wide in-season competition. Top players will earn compensation in excess of $500,000. Other players will earn between $200,000-$300,000. Prior to now, rookies were kept around $60,000 until the fourth year of their career but for the first time in league history, that average is around $130,000. In addition, cash bonuses for performance awards will be implemented.
Marketing: A $1.6 million deal of offseason league and team marketing agreement designed to further generate additional viewership and compensation.
New Competitions: Beginning in 2021, there will be new in-season competitions the WNBA has not held before. It will include a minimum of $750,000 prize money.
Revenue Sharing: To begin in 2021, the WNBA will feature 50-50 revenue sharing in broadcast agreements, licensing deals and sponsorships.
Travel: An increase in premium seat selection for in-season air travel.
Motherhood and Family Planning: Players will receive full salary while on maternity leave, which had never been the case before. All mothers will also receive a $5,000 annual stipend for childcare to go along with new and improved workplace accommodations.
Free Agency: Unrestricted free agency is available one year earlier than it was with the previous CBA.
Resources: Improved and newly implemented mental health resources and benefits to go along with domestic violence resources, counseling and education.