Women's soccer made whole
As the nation debates closing the gender pay gap the national women's soccer team makes some gains
For the last 5 years, the United State Women’s Soccer Team (USWNT) has been in a contract battle with U.S. Soccer over a new contract. Last year, due to nearly four years of playing without a collective bargaining agreement, many stars on the team began talking about boycotting the 2016 Olympics. After 5 years of negotiating, a contract has been worked out that will keep the team playing through 2021, including the 2019 World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Read more coverage below from Newsday.
The U.S. women's national team believes its new contract is both fair and good for the future of the sport.
The U.S. Soccer Federation and the team's union announced Wednesday that a labor deal had been struck to settle an at times contentious dispute in which the players sought equitable wages to their male counterparts.
The collective bargaining agreement runs through 2021, meaning the players will be under contract through the 2019 World Cup in France and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The women will receive raises in base pay and bonuses as well as better provisions for travel and accommodations, including increased per diems. It also gives the players some control of certain licensing and marketing rights.
"It felt very empowering," forward Alex Morgan said. "Because there is a whole issue going on in the country as far as equal pay and the fight for the gender pay gap. And I felt really happy with the agreement that we reached and the fact that we can now do what we came for and play soccer."
Specific details about deal were not disclosed, but it comes as the national team is preparing to play an exhibition match against Russia on Thursday in Frisco, Texas. The team faces Russia again Sunday in Houston.
The two sides convened for intense negotiations in Texas over the weekend. The contract was ratified by the players and the federation's board Tuesday.
The team had been playing under a memorandum of understanding that expired Dec. 31."This has been by far the most involved the team has been," Megan Rapinoe said before a training session on Wednesday afternoon. "And the most say that we've had in anything. The full group decision from a diverse group of voting members and I think that we're excited that we have a deal. For me the best thing that came out of the deal is how it sets us up going into the future."