West Indies board, WIPA sign MoU to work towards gender pay equity

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Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) have signed a “historic” four-year MoU to promote gender pay equity within West Indies cricket. A media release said that the MoU “outlines plans to achieve parity in international and regional match fees, international captain’s allowances, international team prize money and regional individual prize money for all West Indies cricketers by 1 October 2027.”

The MoU aligns the performance grading criteria for international women’s and regional men’s contracts with the established standards for international men, ensuring a uniform evaluation process across domestic and international cricket from October 1, 2024. Calling it a “groundbreaking development,” the release further said CWI wishes to create a more equitable playing field and an environment where “talent is valued irrespective of gender”.

The MoU is for the period between October 1, 2023 to September 30, 2027 and includes all agreements in respect of player remuneration, and updated terms and conditions across the West Indies system.

Some of the important features agreed upon in the MoU are:

“This is a historic day for West Indies cricket,” Dr Kishore Shallow, president of CWI, said. “As we overhaul the compensation structures and align performance grading, we are taking a significant step towards creating a more inclusive and progressive cricket framework. This step reflects our unwavering commitment to gender equality and acknowledges the immense contributions of female players to West Indies cricket.

“In the preceding year, we undertook substantial enhancements to our travel policy, mandating that the West Indies Senior Women’s team travel business-class on all extended international flights and are accommodated in single rooms during international assignments. This aligns seamlessly with the established policy for West Indies Senior Men’s tours. Today, with the signing of this MOU, we take another significant stride in narrowing the gender gap within our cricketing community.”

The release further stated that the “MoU also introduces opportunities for compensation enhancement for both international and regional men, and new team and individual incentive bonuses for the top performers in the system. The top contract band values for men at international and regional level have also been increased, underscoring the commitment to fostering a culture of player growth, improvement and high performance.”

“Achieving gender parity and equity has always been a strategic objective of our players’ union, and we’ve certainly done so with our female members,” Wavell Hinds, president and CEO of WIPA said. “Without a doubt, this is a truly historic and exciting time for our membership as the MOU addresses most levels of our pay scale. As we operate within a very fluid cricketing landscape, we are duty bound to conscientiously reward our regional and international players within the constraints of CWI’s budget and agree on policies that will produce and promote world class performances.”

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