Cast Member unions have come to an agreement with Disney concerning wage increases and other important issues.
Negotiations have been ongoing for quite some time after certain Cast Member union contracts expired in October 2022. Disney presented an offer in February that union members rejected, but now we have news that an agreement has finally been reached. Disney World President Jeff Vahle released a statement about the proposed changes.
According to a video shared on the Unite Here! Local 362 Facebook page, the unions returned to the bargaining table with Disney recently. The individual who spoke during the press conference (who we expect is a union leader) said that it had been 210 days since they first sat down with Disney and 535 days since Disney workers’ last raise.
The union leader stated that Cast Members were willing to continue fighting for higher wages. Now, things have changed. The union leader shared, “Today we win that fight.”
Under the new agreement that the unions have negotiated with Disney, the following changes will occur, so long as union members vote to approve this agreement:
- New and existing Cast Members will get a minimum of $17 per hour (once the contract is approved)
- Current Cast Members will get a minimum of $18 per hour by the end of this year
- There will be pay increases annually under the contract
- There will be retroactive pay at an increased rate (at least $2 more per hour) for current Cast Members that goes back to October 2022
- The entry-level rate for Cast Members that are newly hired will be increased to a minimum of $18 per hour by 2024
Note that this agreement has NOT been finalized. Union members will vote on the proposal on Wednesday, March 29th, and the union will begin to count the votes after 7PM on that day. The Service Trades Council Union will be recommending that their Cast Members vote to support this new agreement.
After the union leaders shared the news on March 23rd, Disney released a statement from Walt Disney World President Jeff Vahle. Vahle said, “Our cast members are central to Walt Disney World’s enduring magic, which is why we are pleased to have reached this tentative agreement. Disney is proud to offer an industry-leading employment package that includes comprehensive benefits and affordable medical coverage, in addition to 100 percent paid tuition for higher education for hourly employees through the Disney Aspire program. With the support of the unions, we anticipate cast members will approve this new agreement.”
Disney also commented the following: “In addition to Walt Disney World being the first major employer in Central Florida to set a path to a $15 per hour starting wage for our cast members by 2021, we invest in their overall employee experience by offering a comprehensive employment package that includes health care, paid vacation and sick time, overtime opportunities, discount offers, along with multiple options for development and advancement.”
We’ll continue to watch for more updates, so stay tuned to AllEars for more of the latest Disney news.