WNBA Agrees To New Collective Bargaining Agreement With WNBA Referees For 2017 and 2018 Seasons

Highlights of the new deal include a 66% increase in total compensation

April 17, 2017 — The WNBA has agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement with National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA), which is the union representing the WNBA referees. The contract is for the next two seasons, and has been ratified by the WNBA referees.

The new contract includes a 66% increase in total compensation for the officials. It also signifies the establishment of a 401(K) retirement program and now allows for compensation continuation in the event a referee is injured while officiating in the WNBA.

“The WNBA referees, despite officiating the highest level of professional women’s basketball, worked too long without equitable terms and conditions of employment. This collective bargaining agreement represents an important first step toward ameliorating the officiating profession in the WNBA and further advancing the careers of all professional referees in this country,” said Lucas Middlebrook, partner at Seham, Seham, Meltz & Petersen, LLP and NBRA representative. “This was made possible, in part, by the solidarity achieved by uniting the NBA, WNBA and D-League referees within the same union — the National Basketball Referees Association.”

The NBRA is glad to see the WNBA referees get the contract they deserve from the WNBA, and will help secure their futures in the WNBA and beyond.

The NBRA represents a united front for all professional basketball referees — as the representative of the NBA referees, WNBA referees and D-League referees, and continues to create a stronger and more stable profession for all.


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