The WNBA and the Women's National Basketball Players Association announced Tuesday that they have reached tentative terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, which includes significant salary increases, potential changes to the revenue sharing system and improved family benefits.
The new CBA runs from 2020 through 2027 with a mutual opt-out provision after six years. It features a 53 percent increase in total cash compensation (player salaries, bonuses, league and team marketing deals) and the possibility of 50-50 revenue sharing — which had been a major point of contention among the league's players — beginning with the 2021 season based on the WNBA hitting revenue growth targets. It also covers paid maternity leave, a $5,000 childcare stipend and additional workplace accommodations for mothers.
"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," WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said as part of a league press release. "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."
On Tuesday's edition of "Good Morning America," Ogwumike sat alongside Engelbert and explained the significance of the deal and what it means for the WNBA and women's sports moving forward.
"We wanted to leave a legacy," Ogwumike said. "I think we came in understanding that it wasn't just about the top player. It wasn't just about the rookies. It was about every player across the board. ... We just want to serve as the catalyst for what we want to see in the future for the WNBA."
BREAKING: @CathyEngelbert from the @WNBA announces a new landmark deal for female athletes. “We’re hoping to lift, not just women in sports and women in basketball, but women in society.”@RobinRoberts@Nnemkadi30 https://t.co/n0zPNGp6Sz pic.twitter.com/V6eBw2wH3S— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 14, 2020
Ogwumike wasn't the only one excited about the new CBA. Here's how past and present WNBA players reacted to the news.
We did this for the next generation.— Chiney Ogwumike (@Chiney321) January 14, 2020
This is our legacy.
144 BADA$$ women of the WNBA got it done!
And we just getting started...
Use your voice to make a change! Literally brought tears to my eyes ❤️ https://t.co/CQ53FOreDY— Skylar Diggins-Smith (@SkyDigg4) January 14, 2020
I am so happy for ever single player in the @WNBA and ever young girl on her way! This is such a blessing! I’m just happy to witness it! Congrats to all who helped fight the good fight! #Groundbreaking https://t.co/7LGNGHoYg4— Lisa Leslie (@LisaLeslie) January 14, 2020
Today is a Glorious day♥️ Congrats to the @TheWNBPA @wnba for laying the groundwork for the next generation! #BetOnWomen .. To the Exec Committee many will never know the time you put in or the resolve you had to get it done! Salute ladies ✊ Job Well Done @Nnemkadi30 So Proud! https://t.co/u8NEtGumHg— Swin Cash (@SwinCash) January 14, 2020
Congratulations to the league and its players. There are huge steps forward in this agreement. https://t.co/Zu32US6Ouo— Rebecca Lobo (@RebeccaLobo) January 14, 2020
Our league is full of more than just athletes, we are strong powerful women !! https://t.co/0n0qAyadA7— Bria Hartley (@Breezyyy14) January 14, 2020
seeing these changes in our league has been AMAZING. it has my dream since I was little was to play in the @WNBA! This truly is an organization that I’m super proud to be a part of and can’t wait to see what the future holds— Lexie Brown (@lexiekiah_4) January 14, 2020