WNBA Back-On-Schedule After Union Agreement

Negotiators for the WNBA and its players successfully negotiated a four-year contract in the league’s first collective bargaining agreement.

WNBA President Val Ackerman commented on the agreement, saying, “This is a milestone for our league to have its first collective bargaining, the first of its kind in women’s team sports. It speaks volumes [on] how far women’s sports have come.”

The WNBA draft, which had originally been scheduled for April 25 but was postponed after previous negotiations fell through, is now set for Tuesday, May 4th. The WNBA season will begin, as planned on June 10.

The recent agreement set play salaries and includes a clause that would allow either side to renegotiate after three years. Both sides agreed on no-lockout and no-strike clauses. Players were guaranteed a percentage from league royalties, and the player’s union will receive a minimum of $100,000 from these profits each years. The contract also grants players a 401K plan, full health and dental insurance plans, and paid maternity leave.


AP - April 29, 1999

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