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Representatives for the men’s and women’s U.S. national teams signed historic collective bargaining agreements with U.S. Soccer on Tuesday, formally ending a long and sometimes brutal fight over equal pay.
The federation announced in May that it had reached a separate agreement with the players’ unions on a contract that runs until 2028.
The new contracts include a uniform payment structure for games and tournament wins, revenue sharing and fair distribution of World Cup prize money.
A signing ceremony was held following the women’s friendly against Nigeria at Audi Field in Washington, and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh was among the participants.
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“I have to give a big thank you to everyone involved, the women’s national team and their PA (players association), the men’s national team and their PA, and everyone at US Soccer. There were a lot of people who helped, worked together to make this happen,” said USA Soccer President Cindy Pallow. Cone, a former national team player herself, said: “And it doesn’t push over the line without the guys jumping in and getting equal pay.”
American women who have been fighting for years for fair pay and treatment They filed a federal gender discrimination lawsuit against American Soccer in 2019. The lawsuit drew global attention. When the United States won the Women’s World Cup final, fans chanted “equal pay.” France.
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In February, the two sides settled the lawsuit and US Soccer agreed to pay the women $24 million. But the settlement was dependent on reaching new working agreements with both groups.
The boys were playing under CBA terms that expired in December 2018. The women’s CBA expired at the end of March, but talks have continued since the lawsuit.
A sticking point in the negotiations was the prize for the World Cup, which depends on how well a team progresses in football’s most prestigious competition. While the U.S. women have been successful in winning back-to-back World Cups internationally, the gap in FIFA prize money has been significantly smaller than that of the men’s winners. The US women won a $110,000 bonus for winning the 2019 World Cup. The US men would have received $407,000 if they had won in 2018.
The unions have agreed to pool FIFA’s fees for the men’s World Cup later this year and next year’s women’s World Cup, as well as the 2026 and 2027 tournaments.
Since the men’s national team players are currently in league play, the CBA was signed by USNSTPA Executive Director Mark Levinstein. Women’s players Crystal Dunn, Becky Sauerbrunn and Sam Mewis signed with USWNTPA Executive Director Becca Rooks.
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Sauerbrunn addressed the crowd.
“I want to thank you all for your support, all the social media posts, the messages of support, the really funny ‘equal pay’ chants, showing up at our games. They’re really, really the best fans in the world,” she said.
Former players Christine Lilly, Briana Scurry and Lori Lindsey were on the field after the US beat Nigeria 2-1.
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With the CBAs approved, a federal judge granted initial approval of the settlement in August. A final hearing is scheduled for December.