In an expected move, Walt Disney Worlds largest union, the Service Trades Council (a coalition of six union locals that represent 38,000 Walt Disney World Resort employees) has overwhelmingly passed the new proposed contract for pay increases as well as benefit changes with only 116 saying no to the vote.
The contact that will now expire in 2022 will see some changes to employee benefits as well as pay. The $10 minimum an hour pay for cast members will increase to $11 by December, $13 in September 2019, $14 in October 2020 and finally $15 in October 2021. The cast members will receive a $1,000 bonus that Disney had paid to other employees after last year’s tax cut by Congress. Those bonuses were withheld during the contract negotiations.
The new contract does expand anti-discrimination protections to now include gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, military or veteran status and genetic information from being used against the cast member. The new contract also will allow Disney to use more part-time workers (under the old contract only 35 percent of the union workforce can be part-timers, but that will be raised to 38 percent in the new contact.)
New hires also would have to wait longer to switch positions under the new deal, the old contract allowed for a transfer after six months, but that would change to a year under the new contract. The contract also allows Disney the ability to expand the probationary period for some new workers from three months to six months.
Universal and SeaWorld, which are not unionized, gave their employees a pay raise after Disney and the union last agreed to raise the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 by 2016. It’s currently unknown if they will follow after Walt Disney World as they have in the past.