WNBL finally lands a historic CBA deal

Murray Wenzel
·2-min read

The WNBL has finalised the 41-year-old league's first collective bargaining agreement with Basketball Australia.

The agreement will see players earn higher minimum wages, have access to improved health care and other basic conditions such as advanced scheduling, improved travel conditions and professional services.

The milestone follows a new broadcast deal that's seen a return to ABC and the commencement of a unique six-week season based in three north Queensland cities to contend with the coronavirus pandemic.

Australian women's basketball boss Lauren Jackson and Adelaide Lightning veteran Laura Hodges, a four-time Olympian who is on the player's association board, were central to the deal.

"Signing the CBA was an incredibly proud moment, and was the culmination of years of hard work from WNBL players past and present," Hodges, who returned to play after having a daughter in 2018, said.

"For the players, it establishes the minimum standards and puts us on our pathway to professionalism, which ultimately will result in a stronger league and benefit everyone involved in our great game."

The deal follows moves in 2018 to provide more contractual certainty an care for mothers as part of a parental and pregnancy care policy.

Former Opals great Jackson said the agreement was "another step forward for a league revered as one of the best in the world".

"While 2020 has been a challenging year for sport against the backdrop of the pandemic, Basketball Australia and the league stakeholders have been able to get a season underway, negotiated the best ever broadcast arrangement in WNBL history and have now signed off on the league's first ever CBA," she said.

"Things are looking very positive for Australian women's basketball."

Australian Basketball Players' Association boss Jacob Holmes said "while there's still work to be done, the WNBL is well positioned to prosper with professional players who are committed to growing the game and positively impacting the community."