The United States women's national team and U.S. Soccer have settled on a new five-year collective bargaining agreement after a lengthy labor dispute, according to Andrew Das of the New York Times.
"I am incredibly proud of this team and the commitment we have shown through this entire process," midfielder Megan Rapinoe said. "While I think there is still much progress to be made for us and for women more broadly, I think the [Women's National Team Players Association] should be very proud of this deal and feel empowered moving forward."
The new agreement includes a large increase to both base pay and bonuses, which is expected to double the income of some USWNT players to between $200,000 and $300,000 per year.
Additionally, "The union also won control of some licensing and marketing rights from the federation, another potential source of revenue for the players," noted Das. And U.S. Soccer, as a part of the agreement, made a number of financial commitments to the National Women's Soccer League.
While the new pact still does not represent equal pay with the men's national team—the cornerstone issue of the labor dispute that even resulted in Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan and Rapinoe's filing a federal wage discrimination complaint against U.S. Soccer in March 2016—it was a step forward in the WNTPA's shift late in negotiations to obtain "equitable and fair" pay.
"We tried to completely change the methodology for how to define our value, and we made progress in that regard, and it changes the equation for the future," Becca Roux, the union's executive director, said of the agreement, according to Das.
The USWNT remains arguably the most successful women's program in the world and has claimed three World Cup titles (1991, 1999, 2015) and four gold medals (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012).
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