Equal pay for NZ women's cricketers a 'game changer'

Source: 1News

In a landmark deal, the first in cricket, New Zealand’s professional women’s and men’s players will receive the same pay for the same work on the same day.

Sophie Devine called pay deal a "massive step forward".

The agreement, struck between the six major associations and the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association, is scheduled for five years and will see the White Ferns and domestic women’s players get paid the same as the Black Caps and their domestic male counterparts.

It means the highest paid White Ferns player will have her pay effectively doubled to a maximum of $163,246 a year. White Ferns captain Sophie Devine said the agreement was a “game changer” for women’s cricket.

“I want to thank and congratulate the players and the Major Associations for their part in reaching such a significant agreement,” NZ Cricket chief executive David White said.

“This is the most important agreement in our sport, as it binds NZC, the Major Associations, and our players at the hip, and sets the foundation to fund, grow and develop cricket.

“It’s been a collaborative yet very robust negotiation.

“Importantly, it represents a significant step forward as we continue to grow our investment in women’s cricket.

The pay equity framework was helped by the advice of gender pay expert Yolanda Beattie.

The improved conditions are part of an agreement calculated on the country’s men’s and women’s professional players receiving 29.75% of all NZC forecast revenue over five years ($349m), expected to amount to $104m.

Translated, this means the highest-ranked White Fern would be able to receive a maximum of $163,246 a year (up from $83,432), the ninth-ranked, $148,946 ($66,266), and the 17th-ranked $142,346 ($62,833).

The top-ranked women’s domestic players in each major association would be able to receive a maximum of $19,146 (up from $3,423), the sixth-ranked $18,646 ($3,423), and the 12th-ranked $18,146 ($3,423).

The agreement sees the total number of women’s domestic contracts increase from 54 to 72, all positioned as a secondary work commitment with restricted obligations, to enable players to retain full-time employment and/or study commitments.

In addition, the number of domestic women’s annual contracts will be increased from nine to 12 per team, and an annual women’s North v South series for emerging international players will be introduced, complementing the existing development programmes.

New Zealand’s professional men’s players, whose match fees at T20I, ODI, Ford Trophy, and Dream11 Super Smash level will be the same as the women, will earn higher retainers, based on the increased number of matches played, formats contested, and time spent training and playing.

They have also received increases on current levels, the top-ranked Black Cap able to receive a maximum of $523,396 (up from $459,574), the tenth-ranked $444,196 ($377,981), and the 20th-ranked $367,196 ($305,453).

Kane Williamson: "It's important to build on legacy."

Additionally, the highest-ranked domestic men’s player in each Major Association would be in line to receive a maximum of $102,707 (up from $94,437), the eighth-ranked $87,307 ($77,357), and the 16th-ranked $75,207 ($64,406).

The total remuneration for men’s and women’s professional players includes retainers, match fees, Trust IP payments, retirement fund contributions and insurance.

They will retain their ability to play in overseas leagues, including the IPL.

Another significant enhancement of the new master agreement will be a bigger funding envelope for the NZCPA’s support services, allowing it to increase investment in (amongst other areas) its personal development programme, particularly in terms of ensuring women’s domestic players are offered the same level of support as the domestic men, Black Caps, and White Ferns.

The agreement, to start on August 1, also seeks to ensure professional women’s players receive equity in matters such as travel and accommodation, and the wider playing and training environment.

It retains the pregnancy and childcare provisions contained in the existing agreements.

NZCPA chief executive Heath Mills was delighted both the men’s and women’s professional players were now part of the same agreement.

“We’re thrilled to now have one agreement that includes our entire playing group,” he said.

White Ferns skipper Devine said: “It’s great for the international and domestic women players to be recognised in the same agreement, alongside the men.

“It’s a massive step forward and will be a huge drawcard for young women and girls.”

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson said: “It’s really important for the current players to build on the legacy of those who have gone before us, and to support tomorrow’s players, both men and women, at all levels.

“This agreement goes a long way towards achieving that.”

Schedule of match fees (women and men):

Tests: $10,250

ODIs: $4,000

T20Is: $2,500

Plunket Shield: $1,750

Ford Trophy/Hallyburton Johnstone Shield: $800

Super Smash: $575