Australian Rules-AFLW players secure pay rise, longer season in new deal

(Reuters) - Players in the women's top flight of Australian Rules football (AFLW) will receive immediate pay rises and the length of their season will also increase under a new joint collective bargaining agreement with men's players signed on Thursday.

AFLW players will receive a 29% pay rise effective immediately, with the average wage increasing to A$82,000 ($52,570) by the time the deal ends in 2027, up from the current A$46,000.

The length of the AFLW season will increase from 10 matches to 12 in 2025, while players will receive 12-month contracts and be able to sign multi-year deals.

The league has also introduced a 12-month pregnancy policy with immediate effect, which would start from six weeks before a player's due date.

"The new CBA provides certainty to the players for both competitions," AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said. "Our AFLW players receive another immediate boost after an historic 94% increase last season."

The average AFL men's salary will increase to $519,000, from $387,000 last year, by the end of the agreement.

($1 = 1.5598 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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