The National Women’s Soccer League and the NWSL Players Association have struck their first-ever collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which will run for the next five seasons until the end of 2026.
The CBA, which is subject to final approval from the NWSL board of governors, will raise the minimum player salary by almost 60 per cent year-over-year (YoY) to $35,000.
Total compensation will increase by more than 30 per cent compared to the 2021 season to $54,000.
In addition to an increase in total compensation, such as for certain commercial appearances by players, revenue sharing will be introduced. This includes the opportunity for players to receive ten per cent of net broadcast revenues if the NWSL is profitable in years three, four and five of the CBA.
The league will also introduce free agency from 2023, which players will get if they have been in the NWSL for six years.
The CBA ensures a fixed season with start and end windows, as well as limits on the maximum number of games in a season and frequency of games. Players will be guaranteed 42 days of holiday, a seven-day in season summer break, parental leave, salary continuation if they become pregnant, and mental health leave for up to six months.
Furthermore, the CBA means teams must provide improved health and wellness benefits, including a physician, sports scientist and psychologist. The NWSL has also committed $255,000 to $300,000 per year for group license rights.