BY ALY KOHANOWSKI | Ball State Sports Link
On March 30, 2016, five members of the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) took charge and filed a wage complaint with the U.S. Soccer Federation on behalf of the entire National Team.
The argument they proposed was that the women only make nearly 1/4th of the salary that the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) makes.
Not only was there a complaint filed with the U.S. Soccer Federation, but four USWNT standouts (Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn) went on to file another complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In the 2016 season, the USWNT brought in over $20 million more in revenue than their male counterparts did.
When the Germany Men’s National Team won the World Cup in 2014, they were awarded $35 million dollars. When the USWNT won the World Cup in 2015, the U.S Soccer Federation received $2 million.
The women who are the face of soccer are not being paid accordingly for their hard work and successes in representing the United States in a positive light.
As of Tuesday, April 3rd, the U.S Soccer Federation and USWNT have reached a collective bargaining agreement which will extend through the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympics.
U.S. Soccer announced that it had ratified a five-year collective bargaining with the U.S. women’s national team, ending a contract negotiation that’s been in overdrive for over a year, particularly since the USWNT filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charging U.S. Soccer with wage discrimination last March.
- A “sizable increase” in base pay for the USWNT players and bigger bonuses, which could lead to some players doubling their incomes and earning $200,000 to $300,000 per year — and even more during World Cup years.
- Improved travel accommodations and working conditions — a category that likely includes field quality.
- Union control over some of the USWNT licensing and marketing rights.
- Greater support the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), with a continued commitment to pay NWSL salaries for allocated USWNT players, additional field and stadium oversight, and greater bonuses for players who don’t have a USWNT contract.
- Per diems that are equal to the ones the men’s nation team receives.
- More support for pregnant players who are pregnant or adopting a child.
US Soccer President Sunil Gulati also voiced his support in a statement:
Although players are happy with the new agreement that was reached, they claim they are just getting started and haven’t got what they fully want yet, but are moving a step in the right direction.
“It felt very empowering,” 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.”
The agreement was reached before the start of the National Women’s Soccer League season on April 15. U.S. Soccer pays the wages of the national team players who are allocated across the domestic league, and the terms of those salaries are outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.
“This has been by far the most involved the team has been,” Rapinoe said. “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.”