ORLANDO, Fla. - As part of the ongoing negotiations between Walt Disney World officials and union members, an offer to raise the minimum wage at the parks to $15 per hour by 2021 is currently on the table.
A Disney spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday morning that the company made the offer to the 38,000 union members. Stipulations concerning transfers, overtime and bereavement are also up for discussion, officials said.
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Ed Chambers is president of the Service Trade Council and represents thousands of Disney employees in unions. He said what Disney is now proposing is still not quite good enough.
He said Disney officials met with union representatives Tuesday, hoping to make a deal, and according to Chambers, there were two options on the table.
Chambers said the first option was to give workers a 50-cent per hour raise in September and a $1,000 bonus, plus 50 cents per hour retroactive pay from last September.
The second option, he said, was to give workers up to $15 an hour by 2021. But, he said, Disney would alter language in the contract for overtime, union orientation, holiday pay and a whole lot more.
Chambers said the union was not satisfied with either option.
"So I’m going to start somebody at $15. How about me? I’ve worked here for 25 years. Do I stay at $15 or do I got to $20? Where’s my raise?" said Duncan Dickson, who teaches at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida.
Dickson worked at Disney for more than 20 years. He said he knows how tough it is to negotiate and gave honest perspective on both sides.
"Disney’s job is to be frugal. The union’s job is to get as much money as they can," Dickson said.
In August, the union proposed a $15 per hour starting wage to Disney, but Disney countered the proposal with one of their own: Employees making $10 per hour would have their pay raised to $10.25 per hour.
Then, in December, the union voted down what Disney officials called a "fair and reasonable" offer that included an immediate 50 cent per hour raise and increasing pay by 6 to 10 percent over the next two years.
Chambers said negotiations with Disney will continue sometime next month. Stay with News 6 for updates on this developing story.
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