Thursday, September 23, 2021

US Soccer offers men’s, women’s teams equal contract offers

by Ronald Bloom ap sports writer

NEW YORK – The US Soccer Federation said on Tuesday it had offered players’ unions equal contract offers for the men’s and women’s national teams, and the governing body said it would refuse a deal that saw World Cup prize money equal Not there .

The unions are different for men and women. Under federal labor law, they have no obligation to bargain jointly or agree to equal terms.

The men’s contract expired in December 2018. The women’s contract runs until this December.

“US Soccer firmly believes that the best path forward for the future of the sport in the United States is a single pay structure for both senior national teams,” the USSF said in a statement. “This proposal will ensure that USWNT and USMNT players are among the highest-paid senior national team players in the world, while providing a revenue-sharing structure that allows all sides to start anew and invest jointly. will allow us to collectively share in the opportunities the future of US soccer will provide during a new CBA.”

The men’s and women’s unions did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the women’s players who sued the federation, declined to comment.

The USSF last week asked the men’s federation to voluntarily equalize World Cup bonus money paid by FIFA to the federation, with former men’s national team players refusing to comment or responding to requests for comment. .

The federation said items currently in women’s contracts, such as pay and maternity and pregnancy leave and pay for players in the National Women’s Soccer League, would not necessarily be removed from the USSF’s proposals.

The players, led by Alex Morgan, sued the USSF in March 2019, saying they were not paid equitably under their collective bargaining agreement, which ended in December 2018 to the men’s team. is received. The women sought more than $64 million in damages. Plus $3 million in interest under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In Los Angeles, US District Judge R. Gary Klausner rejected the salary claim in May 2020, women rejected the same pay-to-play structure as the men’s agreement and accepted higher base pay and benefits than men. He let his allegations of discriminatory working conditions go to trial.

The women asked the 9th Circuit to set aside the lower court’s decision and get their wage claims back on track. The three-judge panel is likely to hear oral arguments later this year or early 2022.

FIFA awarded $400 million in prize money to 32 teams at the 2018 Men’s World Cup, including $38 million to champions France. It awarded $30 million to 24 teams at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, including $4 million to the US after the Americans won their second straight title.

FIFA has raised a total of $440 million for the 2022 Men’s World Cup, and its president, Gianni Infantino, has proposed to FIFA doubling the women’s prize money for the 2023 Women’s World Cup to $60 million, with FIFA has increased the teams to 32.

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“US Soccer will not agree to any collective bargaining agreement that does not take the significant step of equalizing the FIFA World Cup prize money,” the federation said. “US Soccer believes that the best way to achieve these important goals is for women’s and men’s players’ unions to come together to negotiate a contract. However, if players’ unions negotiate separately, Electing to continue, US Soccer will invite the USWNTPA to sit in negotiations with the USNSTPA and vice versa, in the interest of complete transparency.

Tuesday’s announcement comes on the heels of an open letter from USSF President Cindy Parlow Coen in which she said the men’s and women’s national teams “need to come together and rethink how we worked in the past.” “and negotiating a solution that equalizes the FIFA prize money between the two teams.

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Most federations structure their payments to players for the World Cup on a FIFA amount.

Under their labor contract, the American men received $55,000 each to make up the 2014 World Cup roster, then split $4.3 million to earn four points in the group stage and reach the knockout stage. It is calculated at just under $187,000 per player.

The American women split $862,500 to make up the roster and $2.53 million to win the 2019 World Cup, which came in at $147,500 per player. If they had performed on par with the men, the bonus under their deal would have been $37,500 each. Women also receive payments for post-World Cup tours which they split: $350,000 per game if they win, $300,000 if they finish second, and $250,000 if they finish third.

The deals also have different bonus structures for qualifying.

ESPN reported that the men’s federation and the USSF were close to reaching an agreement on a new CBA, a proposal that included increased bonuses for the period from 2019 to March 31, 2023, with mandatory back payments for that period, And it was designed to coincide with the USSF’s fiscal year. From April 1, 2023, players will be paid through revenue sharing over the next four years.

The proposal, first reported by The Athletic in June, did not address the FIFA bonus issue, and was reached after the men’s union threatened to go on strike before an exhibition game against Costa Rica in the same month.

But, as ESPN reports, that offer, negotiated by USSF CEO Will Wilson, was rejected by the USSF’s board of directors. The USSF board responded with a counter-proposal that was not acceptable to the men’s union, especially when they felt a deal had been struck.

US Soccer offers men's, women's teams equal contract offers
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