The American Football Federation announced on Tuesday that it has made identical proposals for a new collective agreement to the respective player unions of the United States Women’s National Team and the United States Men’s Team.
In a statement, the USSF said this was done with the aim of aligning the senior men’s and women’s national teams under “a single collective agreement structure (CBA).”
“This proposal will ensure that USWNT and USMNT players remain among the highest paid senior national team players in the world, while providing a revenue-sharing structure that would allow all parties to start from scratch and to collectively share the opportunity that combines investment in the future of US Soccer will keep its promises during a new CBA, ”the statement said.
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More critically, the USSF said in its statement that it would not agree to a collective agreement with either union that does not “take the important step of leveling the World Cup prizes. FIFA “. This issue has been a sticking point with USWNT players, 28 of whom are currently engaged in legal action alleging gender discrimination due to violations of the Equal Pay Act.
FIFA has offered to award $ 440 million in prizes to teams competing in the 2022 Men’s World Cup, up from $ 400 million in 2018. The proposed price for the 2023 Women’s World Cup is $ 60 million, against $ 38 million in 2019, but still far behind the men’s tournament. This difference in compensation is part of the USWNT’s equal pay claims.
The announcement follows an open letter from USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone in which she said the men’s and women’s national teams must “come together and rethink the way we’ve done things in the past. “, and negotiate a solution that equalizes FIFA prices between the two teams.
The United States National Football Team Players Association (USNSTPA), which represents players on the men’s team, operated under a previous collective agreement that expired on December 31, 2018. The agreement United States Women’s National Team Players Correspondent Collective The association (USWNTPA), which represents players on the women’s side, expires at the end of 2021.
The two CBAs have very different structures. The Men’s ABC has a payout structure for the game, while the Women’s ABC has more money guaranteed as well as benefits that include health care, compensation for National Women’s Football League players and maternity and pregnancy leave and remuneration. The deal for women also includes injury pay, 401 (k) plans and severance pay.
In their 2019 lawsuit, the women demanded more than $ 64 million in damages plus $ 3 million in interest under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act from 1964.
The men’s union declined to comment on Tuesday’s announcement. While the women’s union also did not immediately respond to a request for comment, in response to Cone’s open letter, USWNTPA executive director Becca Roux said: Contract. ‘
“If the USSF were serious about equal pay, it wouldn’t go into advertising campaigns that didn’t solve our problems,” Roux said.
Roux added in his statement: “We are interested in negotiating in good faith to get a fair deal for our players and will not let them use our fight for equality to create a wedge between women and men. We remain determined. to work with all parties for a fair deal that uplifts all players. “
Sources told ESPN that the men’s union and the USSF are close to reaching a deal on a new collective agreement. These sources said the proposal included an increase in bonuses for the period from 2019 to March 31, 2023, essentially salary arrears for that period, and designed to coincide with the USSF fiscal year. As of April 1, 2023, players would be paid over the next four years through some form of revenue sharing.
The proposal, initially reported by Athletic in June, failed to address FIFA’s bonus issue and was reached after the men’s union threatened to go on strike ahead of a friendly against Costa Rica the same month. .
But sources tell ESPN that the offer, negotiated by USSF CEO Will Wilson, was rejected by the USSF board. The USSF board responded with a counter-offer that was not acceptable to the men’s union, especially after believing that a deal had been made.
There is also skepticism about the USSF’s motives for pushing for a single collective agreement. A source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive state of the talks, said the issue of FIFA bonus money was “being used as a weapon” against the men’s union to push through the USSF as “the good guy”.
“The way they want to solve the problem of women is not to increase women’s income equitably,” the source said. “It is by cutting [the men’s CBA] until [women’s] Contract numbers from 2017 to 2021. “
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