U.S. Soccer Federation reaches 'historic' equal pay agreement with both men & women's national teams

USWNT 2022Getty

The United States men's and women's national teams have reached historic collective bargaining agreements (CBA) with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).

The agreements equalise pay from all competition appearances for both teams as well as equality in the sharing of commercial revenue.

The agreements between the USSF, the women's players union (USWNTPA) and men's union (USNSTPA) will run until 2028.

What has been said about the agreements?

USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone hailed the agreement as a game-changer for the whole world.

"This is a truly historic moment. These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world," said Cone.

"U.S. Soccer and the USWNT and USMNT players have reset their relationship with these new agreements and are leading us forward to an incredibly exciting new phase of mutual growth and collaboration as we continue our mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States."

USWNTPA president Becky Sauerbrunn said: "The accomplishments in this CBA are a testament to the incredible efforts of WNT players on and off the field.

"The gains we have been able to achieve are both because of the strong foundation laid by the generations of WNT players that came before the current team and through our union’s recent collaboration with our counterparts at the USNSTPA and leadership at U.S. Soccer. We hope that this agreement and its historic achievements in not only providing for equal pay but also in improving the training and playing environment for national team players will similarly serve as the foundation for continued growth of women’s soccer both in the United States and abroad."

What are the details of the agreements?

Among other things, the CBAs will "provide for equal rates of pay" for the senior national team.

"For friendly games, players on the USWNT and USMNT will be paid identical roster appearance fees and performance payments, based on the outcome of the match and the rank of the opponent, with identical tiering structures," the announcement declared.

The players' unions will also "pool and share a portion of prize money paid for the teams’ participation in the 2022 men’s World Cup and the 2023 women’s World Cup.

"In this arrangement, the players on the 2022 MWC roster and on the 2023 WWC roster will be paid an equal percentage of the collective prize money paid by FIFA for the teams’ participation and performance in their respective World Cups. The same will occur with the 2026 MWC and the 2027 MWC."

Furthermore, the CBAs improve terms for "player health and safety, data privacy and the need to balance responsibilities to both club and country", with the USSF providing child care during training camps and matches and introducing retirement plans.

Are the agreements a good thing for USWNT?

The USWNT players have given up fixed contracts in order to guarantee equal pay with the men's team.

Surrendering the contracts may be a big sacrifice as those who are not part of the squad will no longer be paid, but it allows the players to earn more money.

In the qualifying matches for the 2023 World Cup, USWNT players will earn $10,000 per game, plus $14,000 per victory.

Midge Purce, who was a member of the USWNTPA bargaining team, told The Equalizer: “I think we progressed.

“I think we’ve outgrown some of the conditions that may look like we have lost something. But no, rather, our league is actually strong enough where now we don’t need as many guaranteed contracts. We can be on more of a pay-to-play model. No, I don’t [think we gave up a lot]. I think we did a fantastic job negotiating this CBA and we’re all very proud of it.”

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