Walt Disney World and the unions representing its Cast Members have finally reached a tentative agreement for a new contract that will be voted upon by union members this coming week.
In contract negotiations that have been ongoing since August 2022, it was announced this week that Walt Disney World and the six unions in the Service Trades Council Union coalition, which represent about 45,000 workers, have finally reached a tentative agreement.
Under the terms, the hourly pay for full-time workers will increase by at least $5.50 over the next five years. Some workers will receive an $8.60 an hour raise during the proposed contract’s run through October 2026, according to the coalition.
The deal gives Disney’s full-time employees a $2 hourly raise immediately upon ratification, $1 of which is retroactive to October 2022 when the original contract ended. Workers will eventually reach $18 an hour with another $1 pay bump in December under the agreement.
And of course while that is base pay, workers in higher paying hourly roles will also see a comparable pay increase.
By comparison, nearby competitor Universal Orlando raised its starting wages immediately to $17 an hour last month in February 2023, and the Orlando location of gaming and go kart franchise Andretti Indoor Karting & Games raised its starting wage to $17.50 an hour that month, too.
With the rising rents and general cost of living in Orlando, this increase will greatly help Cast Members pay for their necessities while they’re making the magic at the parks for Guests. It’s been well documented in the past the issues Cast Members have had such as homelessness or living in weekly motels with their families because they didn’t get paid enough to cover rent and food.
The unions are advising their members to vote yes on this contract.
Jeff Vahle, President of Walt Disney World Resort, issued a public statement on the tentative agreement, saying, “Our Cast Members are central to Walt Disney World’s enduring magic, which is why we are pleased to have reached this tentative agreement.”