The WNBA is finally getting some of the compensation it deserves.
The league and its players’ union have reached tentative terms on a new collective bargaining agreement set to bring about some majors changes. One of the biggest discrepancies between the men’s and women’s leagues was the terrible pay. But according to ESPN, a salary boost is coming for the league’s highest-paid players– in the amount of an annual base salary of $117,500 to $215,000.
The updated CBA also has larger cash compensations, modernized free agency, better travel, and even resources and benefits for motherhood and family planning in general. According to ESPN, “players will receive a full salary while on maternity leave, an annual child care stipend of $5,000, and a guarantee of two-bedroom apartments for players with children.”
“We believe it’s a groundbreaking and historic deal,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said as she broke the news on Good Morning America. “I’m proud of the players; they bargained hard, they unified, they brought attention to so many important topics.”
Engelbert was joined by Nneka Ogwumike, who, aside from playing for the WNBA with her sister, represents the players’ union. She was also quick to explain just big of a step forward the new agreement is.
“We wanted to leave a legacy,” she said. “I think we came in understanding that it wasn’t just about the top players and the rookies, it’s about every player across the board. … We want to serve as the catalyst for what we want to see in the future of the WNBA.
The agreement goes into effect this season and through the 2027 season with a mutual op-out clause after six years.