ORLANDO, Fla. – Members of the Services Trades Council Union voted Wednesday to ratify a contract with Walt Disney World that establishes an $18 minimum wage, union officials announced.
According to STCU, members voted by 97% for ratification after the company reached out with a proposal.
“Currently, I make $15 an hour after working for Disney for 10 years,” said member Diego Henry, trainer and relief coordinator at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “Through this agreement, I’ll earn a $3 raise by the end of the year. This’ll help me clean up my debt and get closer to buying a house.”
The agreement gives all current theme park workers a raise between $5.50 and $8.60 by the end of the contract, with the first $3 in raises arriving this year.
[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]
STCU leaders said that under the agreement, workers in jobs that currently earn a minimum of $15 will see that rate rise retroactively to $16 as of Oct. 1, 2022. The agreement also increases that rate to $17 upon ratification and $18 by December 2022, the union stated.
“I absolutely believe they should be paid more, and I think with Disney paying the record raises they have given us sets the bar high for these other companies and theme parks,” Disney worker Nicole Mischer told News 6.
While the agreement nets an $18 minimum wage for union workers this year, the proposal also aims to increase the minimum wage for current workers to $20.50 by October 2026, union leaders said. Workers hired after Dec. 3, 2023 will instead see their minimum wage increase to a flat $20 by October 2026.
Union leaders said that the following roles will receive wage increases, with raises retroactive to October 2022.
- Union Housekeepers: increase from $17 to $20 immediately, ending at $24 in October 2026
- Union Dishwashers: increase from $15 to $18 immediately, ending at $22 in October 2026
- Cook 2 (Union Prep Cook): increase from $16.40 to $20 immediately, ending at $24 in October 2026
- Cook 1 (Union Line Cook): increase from $19 to $23.10 immediately, ending at $27.10 in October 2026
- Union Chef Assistant: increase from $20 to $24.60 immediately, ending at $28.60 in October 2026
- Union Bus Drivers: increase from $18 to $20.50 immediately, ending at $24.50 in October 2026
The agreement will also include eight weeks of paid child bonding leave and increases to many hourly premiums, according to STCU.
“Our cast members have always been at the heart of the Walt Disney World experience, and we are thrilled that, with the support of the union, they have overwhelmingly approved this new five-year agreement that significantly increases wages, alongside our leading benefits program that includes affordable medical coverage and more,” President Jeff Vahle of Walt Disney World Resort said. “Frontline employees also have access to 100% paid tuition for higher education through the Disney Aspire program.”
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: