The WNBA and the players' union have come to tentative terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, which includes a significant salary bump for the league's highest-paid players, going from an annual base salary of $117,500 to $215,000.
The new CBA also includes other cash compensation increases, changes to free agency, travel improvements, additional motherhood and family-planning benefits, enhanced marketing and career-development opportunities, and changes to revenue-sharing potential.
“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. “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.”
The agreement is for eight years, from the 2020 through 2027 seasons, with a mutual opt-out provision after six years. Those were the same terms for the previous agreement in 2014, and the players voted in 2018 to opt out after the 2019 season, which set the stage for this agreement.
“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,” said WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike. “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.”
Information from Espn.com contributed to this report.