The Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) is the union for current women’s professional basketball players in the WNBA. The WNBPA is the first labor union for professional women athletes. It was created in 1998 to protect the rights of players and assist them in achieving their full potential on and off the court.
The WNBPA handles the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, filing grievances on their behalf, and counseling players on benefits and post-WNBA career opportunities. The WNBPA also serves as a resource for current players, while they are competing internationally during the offseason.
The WNBPA encourages players to participate in union activities – including executive leadership roles, team representative positions, and global community outreach initiatives.
The WNBPA negotiates the terms of the CBA with the WNBA and ensures that the WNBA and its teams meet their obligations under the CBA. The CBA governs all aspects of the players’ employment.
The WNBPA certifies, regulates and educates all persons interested in representing WNBA players.
The WNBPA works alone, as well as in conjunction with management to offer programs designed to advance the employment, social and post-playing lives of WNBPA members. Such programs include graduate school tuition reimbursement, career apprenticeships, financial planning, emotional and mental health support, substance abuse education and career management.
The WNBPA advocates on behalf of its members. Our members may call upon us to obtain expert legal advice and/or representation in a dispute, file a grievance with management, appeal a fine or suspension or help resolve player/agent disputes.
Liaison with Management
Often times members find it difficult to approach management with issues concerning their employment. Upon the request of a member, the WNBPA staff will serve as advocate, facilitator and “buffer” in these instances. By bringing these issues to the attention of a team and/or the league, WNBPA staff will work to address the concern and achieve resolution.