The AFL Players’ Association and the AFL have reached agreement on key matters to be included in the first Collective Bargaining Agreement for female footballers in the history of the game.
Under the agreement, 2019 total player payments across the 10 clubs will total $4.748 million, an increase of 38 per cent per club on 2018, as a result of both a better structuring of player payment levels within the competition together with the minimum AFLW player payment rising by 27.6 per cent to meet with the minimum male footballer payment (on a pro rata basis).
The four finals teams will share prize money for the first time and players will also have the opportunity to earn additional income to promote the game through a new AFL ambassador fund.
A significant investment has also been made into player development to help support players through education and training grants, wellbeing workshops and access to the AFLPA’s specialised psychology network.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement will be for the 2019 AFLW season, but AFL and the AFL Players’ Association have reached agreement on key financial matters through to the end of the 2022 season to give the industry certainty and security.
AFL Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh believes this agreement represents an exciting opportunity for both the players and the game.
“The players voted overwhelmingly to approve this deal because it recognises the significant time and energy they are investing to improve the standards of the AFLW competition but also gives the industry flexibility to continue to evolve the game,” Marsh said.
“Players continue to juggle their football responsibilities, with full or part-time jobs, study and family life and this deal will help shape an environment where they can thrive.
“Gender equality continues to be a driver for our organisation and we’re proud to have achieved that by tying the minimum wage to that of the minimum wage for male footballers until 2022.”
AFL Head of Women’s Football Nicole Livingstone welcomed the agreement.
“The first CBA for female footballers is a significant milestone in the evolution of AFLW,” she said.
“On the eve of our third year of competition, we are proud of AFLW enabling more opportunity for more female players with 300 players joining high performance environments in 2019.
“Investment in player wellbeing and development is vitally important due to the current part time nature of AFLW, to further support our players to grow both as players and individuals.”
Highlights of the key terms agreed for the 2019 AFLW Collective Bargaining Agreement:
- Player payments will total $4.748 million in 2019, with players paid according to four-tiered system:
- Tier 1 — $24,600
- Tier 2 — $19,000
- Tier 3 — $16,200
- Tier 4 — $13,400
- The introduction of prize money for the top four teams, with players to share in a pool of $127,500
- The development of an AFL Ambassador fund totalling $100,000 per year for four years
- ASAs (Additional Service Agreements) with a guaranteed minimum spend of $20,000 per club with no cap for 2019
- $335,000 has been committed to support AFLW players with Education and Training Grants and Wellbeing Support, which includes funding being directed into a research project that will examine the specific needs of AFLW players to guide future direction and priorities.
- Funding and access for AFLW players to the AFL Players’ Injury and Hardship Fund
- Minimum medical standards, introduction of Hawkeye technology to assist injury diagnosis at all AFL venues and football injury expenses covered for 18 months post contract
- Relocation allowance for players who live further than 100kms away from their AFLW team
- AFLPA funding to support AFLW players
As per the 2018 season, players are contracted for an average of 13 hours of training per week during the pre-season and 10 hours per week during the season.