Spanish women break new ground with first collective pay deal

February 20 – Spain’s women footballers have signed a historic first collective agreement over pay and conditions, after a battle for rights that led to an unprecedented strike in November. 

The agreement stipulates a fixed salary of €16,000 full time and €12,000 part-time, and hands the players a legal framework that covers working hours, salaries, holidays, sick pay, and maternity leave.

“This is a historic day because this collective agreement is very important for players who were worried about their futures,” said the sports minister Irene Lozano. “It’s also important for all Spanish women because when one group of people makes advances then so does everyone else.”

Late last year, the players had gone on strike to press theirs demand for change after negotiations stalled. Just under 200 players from 16 different clubs in the country’s Women’s First Division voted for the strike action, which resulted in the cancellation of eight matches.

The new agreement is a step to professionalisation, but the president of the Association for Women in Professional Sports in Spain, Ruben Alcaine, believes that more will need to be done in the future. “The conditions are a little bit crude,” said Alcaine. “But they have put some things on the table.”

“We really celebrate that everyone has been able to assume some of their responsibility and, above all, that women’s football is entering the championship and playing as professionals and we hope that this agreement can be reviewed soon. And most importantly, that it will permeate to all other sports and all other clubs.”

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1603225661labto1603225661ofdlr1603225661owedi1603225661sni@t1603225661catno1603225661c1603225661