NRLW CBA: Breakthrough five-year deal to secure the future of women’s football

A major breakthrough in tense CBA negotiations is set to give NRLW a 20-week season and a $1.5 million salary cap as part of a proposed five-year deal. SEE THE DETAILS.

The NRL is on the verge of a landmark agreement for women’s football with NRLW players to be part of a 20-week season and operate under an unprecedented $1.5 million salary cap.

The historic proposal is in the final stages of ratification after the NRL and RLPA spent the past week carving out the critical details that were at the heart of the ugly row between headquarters and the players’ union.

The fight over women’s funding threatened to escalate into a possible industrial dispute among men’s players during the NRL Pre-Season Challenge.

The Daily Telegraph received a leaked copy of the proposal late Monday night, which includes joint letterhead from the NRL and RLPA and confirms that women’s football is ready to enter the professional era under a charter that includes:

* A salary cap of $900,000 in 2023, rising to $1.518 million in 2027;

* A minimum wage of $30,000 in 2023, rising to $50,600 in 2027;

* A significant increase in workload with a 20-week season planned for 2023 and 2024, expanding to 23 weeks by 2025;

* Each club will have 24 players and four development players;

* Support for pregnant players and vacation policies; And

*Each club must be funded with a designated NRLW Welfare Officer.

The private and confidential proposal also includes female players receiving 50 per cent of Premier League prize money.

Crucially, the players’ union and NRL appear to have agreed on flexibility for 10-team expansion in 2023.

The race is now on for clubs to sign the game’s elite women with filings showing clubs have until May 24 to meet their squad quota.

Just last Saturday, the NRL sent a memo to clubs forecasting a possible breakthrough in finalizing the historic NRLW agreement.

“We have agreed the most important key terms for the NRLW CBA, subject to a few matters on which we will work with NRLW clubs and the commission,” the statement to clubs read.

“This is a very positive step.”

With the NRLW agreements all but final, the NRL and players’ union can focus on completing a deal for the men.

Originally published as NRLW CBA: Breakthrough for five years to ensure the future of women’s football NRLW CBA: Breakthrough five-year deal to secure the future of women’s football

Ryan Sederquist

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