Wow! After tense negotiations and threats of a strike, the FIFA World Cup-winning U.S. women’s soccer team got a brand new collective bargaining agreement on April 4. Does this finally mean they’ll get paid equally as the U.S. men team?
Sadly, no. The United States Women’s National Team and U.S. Soccer (the USA’s national soccer organization) ratified a new five-year collective bargaining agreement in the late hours of April 4, according to The New York Times. While this new deal includes a “sizable increase in base pay” and “improved match bonuses” — changes that could double a player’s income to $200,000 and $300,000 a year — it does not guarantee equal pay with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
“We tried to completely change the methodology for how to define our value,” Becca Roux, the Interim Executive Director of the USWNT Players Association, said of the deal. “We made progress in that regard, and it changes the equation for the future.”
This deals comes one year after five high-profile members of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup team – Carli Lloyd, 34, Alex Morgan, 27, Megan Rapinoe, 31, Hope Solo, 35, and Becky Sauerbrunn, 31 – filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The complaint claimed they were victims of wage discrimination, per ESPN, and their case has yet to be resolved. It wasn’t immediately clear if this new CBA meant the EEOC complaint would be dropped, or if the five stars would continue on with their case.
“It’s necessary to change sometimes,” Alex said at the start of 2017, when the threat of a strike was still looming. “You know what you’re worth — rather than what your employer is paying you. We’re not scared. To move the women’s game ahead we need to do what’s necessary.” It seems that the USMNT’s bravery has paid off. While it doesn’t give them equal pay, it’s definitely a start in the right direction.
The deal will also have U.S. Soccer step up in its support of the National Women’s Soccer League, improving standards in the league’s stadiums, training facilities and more. The agreement will also boost NWSL salaries, while allowing members to pursue opportunities abroad. Carli Lloyd is currently playing for Manchester City in England, while Alex Morgan is out on loan with the Olympique Lyonnais in France.
What do you think about the new CBA, HollywoodLifers? Do you think it’s good enough? Or do you think the women should have fought to ensure they were given an equal wage for equal pay?