NWSLPA ratifies first CBA in women’s soccer history

During the sixth minute of the first two NWSL games since accusations against Paul Riley were published, players paused and gathered in "solidarity."
Bill Streicher USA TODAY Sports

With less than 24 hours until players were scheduled to report to preseason, the NWSL Players Association (NWSLPA) announced on Monday night that it had ratified the first Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in NWSL history.

Statements from both the NWSL and the PA specified that the agreement is subject to approval by the NWSL Board of Governors.

The full collective bargaining agreement will be published in coming weeks, according to the NWSLPA. In the meantime, here are a few highlights that were shared:

  • Compensation: Minimum player salaries will increase almost 60 percent year-over-year to $35,000, while all players will see an increase in their total compensation package.
  • Free Agency: An NWSL first, athletes will be eligible for free agency. Starting in 2023, players with six years of service will become eligible.
  • Severance Pay: Players who get waived by their team will now be eligible for four weeks of severance pay and 30 days of housing and health insurance
  • Mental Health Leave: Players will be eligible for up to six months of paid mental health leave.
  • Parental Leave: Players will be eligible for eight weeks of parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Revenue Sharing: Players can receive 10% of the net broadcast revenues, if the league is profitable in years 3, 4, and 5 of the CBA.

“The strength, resilience, and solidarity of this extraordinary group of players and people is what secured this landmark agreement,” NWSLPA Executive Director Meghann Burke said. “Players drove every decision in this process. Over more than 40 bargaining sessions, these players stood strong and stood together, right up to the moment of ratification. This is a historic moment not only for our sport and our League, but for all working people who stand up and stand together.”

“This is a historic moment for women’s soccer in the United States,” said NWSL Interim CEO Marla Messing. “This transformative agreement represents deserved advancements for our players, including significantly stronger compensation packages and benefits, enhanced training and playing environments, and a long-term commitment to continually improve the standards we all regard as essential to securing our position as the best women’s soccer league in the world.”

MORE ABOUT THE HISTORIC NWSL CBA: Future focus paved by previous sacrifices

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