WNBA labor deal would mean more money, posher flights and special provisions for mothers

Posted Tuesday, 14 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)WNBA players have reached an potential agreement that could mean tidy raises for many ballers, as well as initiatives designed to promote and support motherhood, the league announced Tuesday. If the players and the WNBA Board of Governors OK the eight-year labor deal, known as the collective bargaining agreement, it will take effect this season and run through 2027. "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," Commissioner Cathy Engelbert of the WNBA said in a statement. The deal, according to Nneka Ogwumike, president of the Women's National Basketball Players Association, not only improves working conditions, but it also marks a progressive business model "with strategic planning and intentional marketing that will keep the WNBA front and center year-round." Show her the moneyForemost for many players will be the bag, which will represent a 53% increase in total compensation, a figure derived from salary, performance bonuses, prize money for "newly created in-season competitions" and marketing deals, according to the proposed CBA. Top players such as the Washington Mystics' Elena Delle Donne and the Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner -- who, like roughly two-thirds of the league's athletes, plays abroad during the offseason to supplement her salary -- could see their compensations triple to more than $500,000. (It could be argued that Griner and other stars actually moonlight in the WNBA to supplement their larger salaries in other countries, as Griner and hoops legend Diana Taurasi told ESPN in 2016 that Russia's UMMC Ekaterinburg paid them multitudes more than did their WNBA teams.)Lesser stars will also see a bump in pay, to between $200,000 and $300,000, while the average compensation will be almost $130,000. How will that compare to the NBA? Not terribly favorably. Superstars such as Stephen Curry and James Harden reportedly make in the neighborhood of $40 million annually, while a no-name rookie rakes in almost $900,000. But before launching into "equal pay!" chants, it's important to realize that the WNBA is not the women's US soccer team. Where the nonprofit US Soccer Federation administers both the US Women's National Team and Men's National Team in international competition, the NBA and WNBA operate on for-profit models in domestic competition between individually owned clubs. Where the the WNBA got its start in 1997, men have been playing organized professional ball since the 1930s (the NBA was formed in the late 1940s with the merger of two pro leagues) and they've collected paychecks since the end of the 19th Century. Mothers, posher travel and more cashThe proposed CBA announced Tuesday isn't all about the money, however. Indicative of the WNBA's appreciation of its players' distinctive needs, the CBA also includes maternity leave with full salary, an annual childcare stipend of $5,000, two-bedroom apartments for players with children, workplace accommodations for nursing mothers and, for veteran players, reimbursement of up to $60,000 in adoption, surrogacy or fertility treatment costs. New rules would permit players to enter free agency more frequently -- meaning more competitive salaries, as they'll learn what other teams believe they're worth -- and limit how often a team can keep its hoopsters out of free agency by designating them "core" players. A 50-50 revenue sharing agreement promises to bolster parity in the league, prizes for honors like league MVP and Rookie of the Year will increase and there will be new cash bonuses for honors such as making the All-Defensive First Team, the prospective agreement says. The deal will also improve the players' travel situation, resulting in premium economy flights for regular season travel and individual hotel rooms for each player. "With cautious optimism and trusting the league's renewed commitment and investment, the players demonstrated a willingness to 'lean in' themselves and show an even greater commitment and investment in the W," WNBPA Executive Director Terri Jackson said. CNN's Wayne Sterling contributed to this report.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Rwanda has introduced robots as part of its fight against coronavirus.With 314 confirmed cases of the virus as of May 22, the East African country has enlisted the help of five anti-epidemic robots to battle the virus. The robots were donated by the ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)It was a mouth-watering prospect for sports-starved fans everywhere. Four of the greatest athletes the world has ever known, on the golf course at the same time, offering us a glimpse of who they are when they aren't winning Major Championships and...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A Texas community hit by terrible tragedy months ago came together over the weekend to celebrate a survivor's first birthday.Paul Gilbert Anchondo was two months old when his parents died shielding him from a shooter at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Several members of the graduating class at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a letter from the school."The school has been notified by several Class of 2020 families that their students have...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Just when you thought you'd learned how to spell Grimes and Elon Musk's unusual baby name, they've gone and changed it.Earlier this month, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk announced the birth of the baby boy in a post on Twitter, revealing his son was...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

In this weekly column "Cross Exam," Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor, gives his take on the latest legal news. Post your questions below. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN. ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Rome (CNN)"The doctors were shocked. They said they had never seen anything like this," says Valentina Vigilante, recalling the terrifying day her 6-year-old son Nicolò was rushed into intensive care in Bergamo, northern Italy, as he struggled to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late Kobe Bryant, shared a sweet moment this Memorial Day weekend -- a film of their baby daughter's first steps. In a video posted to Instagram, 11-month-old Capri stumbles across the room for the first time, into the...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)With two barren peaks that rise only about 170 feet above sea level, the now extinct Pūhāhonu volcano in the Northwestern Hawaii Islands doesn't look like much. This is especially true since in the same archipelago, Mauna Loa towers over every...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Photos and video of Memorial Day weekend celebrations across the US showed plenty of people going to the beach and gathering on boardwalks, but not a lot of people social distancing or wearing masks. From Florida to Indiana and across the country to ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN Business)An online grocery business backed by Asia's richest man is expanding to hundreds of cities across India — a move widely seen as a challenge to Amazon (AMZN) and FlipKart.JioMart, the grocery platform owned by Mukesh Ambani's Jio ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(Kaiser Health News)As states relax coronavirus restrictions, older adults are advised, in most cases, to keep sheltering in place. But for some, the burden of isolation and uncertainty is becoming hard to bear.This "stay at home awhile longer" advice...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)As warm weather sends people outdoors, some are encountering tenacious pests with no respect for social distance. Forget staying 6 feet apart: Ticks go for blood in the hardest-to-reach places on the human body. Many of those ticks are infected with ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At a glance, it may look like many Americans have long forgotten about the dangers of coronavirus.Crowds packed beaches in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana over the weekend -- many venturing out without masks and others failing to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At first glance, Shelley Allwang's cubicle looks just like any other office space.But alongside a pinboard full of tchotchkes and a photo of her dog, sits a story that reminds Allwang of the importance of her job, now more than ever. "The Boy and...