CHICAGO – The National Women’s Soccer League and the NWSL Players Association announced Wednesday that they have begun negotiations to secure a long-term Collective Bargaining Agreement between the two parties.

“The sustainability of our League is inextricably linked to the stability of players’ careers,” NWSLPA Eexecutive director Meghann Burke said in a statement. “Through this CBA, we seek to secure stability, equity, and longevity of a playing career in NWSL for all players.”

Entering its ninth season, the NWSL and the NWSLPA have embarked on creating the first CBA in the league’s history, which will govern a wide range of terms and conditions of employment ranging from player compensation and benefits to travel to medical and safety issues.

“The collaboration between the league, our clubs and the NWSL players has been absolutely critical to our collective success this past year,” NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement. “Building on that trust and partnership, we’re all eager to better define the relationship between the league and the extraordinary women that take the pitch each week, and I’m grateful to the NWSLPA’s leadership for so thoughtfully engaging in this process.”