The Cyclists’ Alliance is pleased that the UCI has continued down a path of reform and improvement in women’s elite cycling, starting in 2020. New contract minimum standards, including maternity leave and a starting point for a Women’s WorldTour minimum salary, are important next steps in the evolution of our sport.
As reported in Cyclingnews.com by editor Kristen Frattini, the Alliance played an important part in both of these developments. First, Iris Slappendel was able to share suggested contract terms in the Alliance’s “model contract” with the UCI, in her role as a member of the Women’s WorldTour committee. (As the UCI does not yet recognize any women’s rider union, the model contract was shared only in her capacity as a committee member.)
Our model contract, which is available to our members to help you in your own contract negotiations, was drafted to contain many common protections available in other professional sports. Maternity leave is actually a critical protection for working women everywhere, but this is the first time women in cycling will have such a safety net.
As written by Frattini, Slappendel “advocated for maternity leave and insurance surrounding maternity. It’s been a big topic of discussion because there are people who find it difficult to understand, who feel that an athlete should not become pregnant because it is a cost to the team.” However, as women are having longer careers in the sport, and returning to race after having children, women’s cycling is overdue for maternity rights.
As we have shared before, you should not have to sacrifice your career for your family, and as our sport modernizes and listens to its riders, you may not have to. The other major announcement of a 15,000 EUR starting salary for WWT team riders is also encouraging. While the UCI has stated a target to eventually match the standard of Men’s Continental salaries (30,000 EUR), we will continue to lobby the UCI and work with all of the teams throughout our sport to find the right salary for the economics in women’s cycling.
We hope to eventually negotiate directly with any future association of our teams and create a Collective Bargaining Agreement for a minimum salary. In the meanwhile, only the WWT teams will be required to offer a minimum salary, which may create inequity in the sport in the short term. However, as women’s cycling gains popularity, we will continue to work with stakeholders to improve the economics and create better salary conditions for everyone, in all of our racing disciplines, for our teammates and professional staff alike.
The original article from EU Athletes member, the Cyclists Alliance can be found here.