WNBL minimum wage will climb in the first Collective Bargaining Agreement in 41 years

The WNBL didn’t have a minimum wage for its players three years ago, now the minimum is set to climb to $15,000 as part of the league’s first Collective Bargaining Agreement in 41 years.

Basketball Australia confirmed the historic CBA on Tuesday, which will help the Australian women’s domestic league take a big step towards professionalism.

In a major win for the WNBL’s rising players, there will be standardised minimum wage rises for rostered and development players over the next three years.

League officials have been working tirelessly to reward, and keep, the sport’s emerging players in the game.

There was no minimum wage in the WNBL until the league introduced a minimum player pay of $7,500 with no cap in 2017.

This figure was $13,000 last season and will remain the same for the 2020-21 campaign due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, from the 2021-22 season the minimum will rise to $13,500 per contract period and $15,000 per contract period in 2022-23.

The agreement also includes:

*Improved health care standards, including private health insurance and physiotherapy services when travelling.

*Embedded culture and community player education and engagement.

*Other basic conditions including advanced scheduling, improved travel conditions, apparel, and professional services.

The agreement was signed by two pioneers in Australian women’s basketball, Basketball Australia Head of Women in Basketball Lauren Jackson and ABPA Board Member, Australian Opals and Adelaide Lightning veteran Laura Hodges.

Lauren Jackson during her WNBL days with the Canberra Capitals. Now as the Head of Women in Basketball for Basketball Australia, she has played a major role in the league’s first CBA in 41 years. Picture: Lawrence PinderSource:News Corp Australia

Jackson, who four WNBL MVP’s during her decorated career, is particularly proud of the league’s rise.

“The introduction of the first ever Collective Bargaining Agreement for the WNBL is yet another step forward for the women’s game in Australia,” she said.

“The introduction of a CBA has been discussed for many years and I would like to highlight the united approach by the players via the Australian Basketball Players’ Association, members of the WNBL Commission and the CBA working group, plus Basketball Australia for getting this inaugural CBA implemented.

“While 2020 has been a challenging year for sport against the backdrop of the pandemic, Basketball Australia and the league stakeholders have been able to get a season underway, negotiated the best ever broadcast arrangement in WNBL history and have now signed off on the league’s first ever CBA; things are looking very positive for Australian women’s basketball.”

Hodges believes the CBA will set a powerful precedent for the WNBL and women’s basketball.

“Signing the CBA was an incredibly proud moment and was the culmination of years of hard work from WNBL players past and present,” Hodges said.

“For the players, it establishes the minimum standards and puts us on our pathway to professionalism, which ultimately will result in a stronger league and benefit everyone involved in our great game.”

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