FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 Final – The US team receiving their champion medals.
Image – Howcheng, CC SA 4.0.
The US Soccer Federation (USSF) said it had offered identical contract proposals on Tuesday to the players’ associations for the men’s and women’s national teams, and the governing body said it would refuse to agree to a deal in which World Cup prize money is not equalized.
The unions for the men’s and women’s teams are different and under federal law, they have no obligation to bargain jointly or to agree to similar terms. The men’s contract expired in December 2018. The women’s agreement runs through this December.
According to Yahoo Sports, the offer isn’t an attempt to resolve the Equal Pay Act lawsuit brought by USWNT players. The players in the lawsuit were also demanding back pay and other damages stemming from terms in their current CBA contract that will expire at the end of December.
In a statement, according to Sports Illustrated, the USSF said: “U.S. Soccer firmly believes that the best path forward for all involved, and for the future of the sport in the United States, is a single pay structure for both senior national teams. 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 begin anew and share collectively in the opportunity that combined investment in the future of U.S. Soccer will deliver over the course of a new CBA.”
USWNT and USMNT players—who in a recent amicus brief argued that USWNT players should have received “higher pay” than the men—could negotiate in unison or go so far as to formally establish one union.
However, this is a doubtful solution because both national teams are represented by different unions (USWNSTPA or USNSTPA). Stripping a union of its bargaining power requires a decertification process which is lengthy, at best.
Most federations frame their payments to players for World Cups on the Fifa amounts, reports The Guardian. Under their labor contract, U.S. men got $55,000 each for making the 2014 World Cup roster, then split $4.3 million for earning four points in the group stage and reaching the knockout stage. That calculated to just under $187,000 per player.
The U.S. women split $862,500 for making the roster and $2.53 million for winning the 2019 World Cup, which came to $147,500 per player.