U.S. Women’s Soccer Team members score equal pay in historic victory

HISTORIC VICTORY: Members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team finally won a new contract that includes equal pay for equal work after years of earning less than their male counterparts. Here, team players celebrate their win in the penalty shootout over the Netherlands in the Women’s Quarter Final match of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. – Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images photo

After years of earning less than their male counterparts, members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team finally won what they’ve been fighting for: equal pay for equal work.

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced May 18 that it has reached a deal to pay the both the women’s and men’s teams equally as part of new collective bargaining agreements, which run through 2028. It also includes the “equalization” of World Cup prize money.

In February, the women’s team reached a settlement in its class action lawsuit against the Federation to resolve the longstanding pay dispute that included $22 million in back pay for the players and an agreement to pay the men’s and women’s teams equally in the next union contract.

Becky Sauerbrunn, a player on the women’s team and president of its union – the United States Women’s National Team Players Association – said on Twitter that achieving equal pay was the result of gains players had made both on and off the field.

“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,” she wrote.

The two collective bargaining agreements – one for each team – have identical financial terms that include equal pay for all competitions, including the FIFA World Cup, and specifics on appearance fees and game bonuses, prize money, commercial revenue share and more.

Equally as important, the new agreements improve working conditions, including player health and safety, data privacy and the need to balance responsibilities to both club and country. The women’s contract has a few extra provisions that include six months paid leave for childbirth and provisions for short-term disability pay.

“This is a truly historic moment,” U.S. Soccer Federation President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. “These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world.”

For more information on the new agreements, visit ussoccer.com.

(Some information from St. Louis Public Radio)


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