THE PLAYERS' DEDICATION OF
THE FIRST COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT
IN AMERICAN DOMESTIC PRO WOMEN’S SOCCER HISTORY
This historic first-ever Collective Bargaining Agreement in American domestic women’s professional soccer is dedicated to the Players – past, present, and future.
The Players Association gave notice of our intent to collectively bargain for our first contract in November 2020. Formal negotiations began at the NFLPA’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2021, and culminated with a ratification vote on January 31, 2022, the night before preseason was scheduled to begin. The contract was negotiated from March 2021 through January 2022 over 46 formal bargaining sessions constituting more than 400 hours of negotiations. The PA met with NWSL in Washington, D.C.; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Louisville, KY; and virtually. Players attended every single bargaining session, and on more than one occasion, the vast majority of players league-wide attended negotiations.
Negotiations were led by President Tori Huster, Vice President Rachel Corsie, Secretary Nicole Barnhart, Treasurer Emily Menges, and Executive Director Meghann Burke. The Players Association was represented by Deborah Willig, Jessica Caggiano, and Laurence Goodman of Willig, Williams & Davidson. The Bargaining Committee, comprised of more than 30 current NWSL players, devoted hundreds – perhaps more than a thousand – hours to secure this landmark agreement, all while playing the most challenging and competitive women’s professional soccer season on record.
A Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) is a contract between an employer and a labor union that represents workers in a bargaining unit. Here, the employer is the NWSL and its Teams, and the labor union is the NWSL Players Association (“NWSLPA”). The bargaining unit includes all players who sign a Standard Player Agreement or who are actively seeking employment in NWSL. This CBA sets minimum terms and conditions of a player’s employment. Through the management rights clause, NWSL retains the right to set limits on certain issues. NWSLPA believes, however, that there is no limit to the potential of NWSL or women’s professional soccer globally.
NWSLPA is proudly rooted in our identity as a labor union. Our brothers and sisters in the labor movement – from teachers to sanitation workers to bakers to electricians to hotel workers and professional athletes across sports and gender – paved the way and stand strong with us. Our bond is to stand with you.
To the players who came before us: We stand on your shoulders. Thank you for all you sacrificed to get us here. We hope we made you proud.
To current players: Solidarity, strength, and determination got us here. Our greatest hope is that you now play free, and on your terms.
To future players: May you remember that solidarity, strength, and determination got us here. We pass the torch to you to ensure our work is not forgotten and that you continue to move the game forward.
Tori Huster, President
Rachel Corsie, Vice President
Nicole Barnart, Secretary
Emily Menges, Treasurer
Meghann Burke, Executive Director
The Members of the NWSLPA Bargaining Committee:
Meggie Doughtery Howard
Kealia Ohai Watt