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Disney lags behind another theme park in paying its employees competitive wages

Disney lags behind another theme park in paying its employees competitive wages

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One major theme park just increased its starting wage, which means Disney is lagging farther behind now. Will Disney be able to attract new employees?

Disney wages

Credit: Disney

Disney’s minimum wage has been $15/hour since October 2021. Union representatives and Disney continue to negotiate an increase that would bring hourly wages up to $18/hour. So far, Disney has only offered an extra $1/hour with more to come in the next four years.

However, unions representing employees want an extra $3/hour and 96% of Cast Members rejected Disney’s offer. Therefore, negotiations have been useless at this point but more talks will continue tomorrow, February 15.

They are now lagging behind another theme park that just increased its starting wage.

Increased wages for Universal employees

Credit: KtP

Universal will increase its starting wage to $17/hour and will pay all current employees more to match that wage. Here is a segment of that letter sent out today to Team Members.

Effective June 4, 2023, we are not only increasing our starting base rate to $17 per hour, but we are increasing many of our starting rates across the business. In addition, many Team Members will receive an increase based on the new rates and their time with the company.

Wages are just one part of Team Member satisfaction and because of your direct feedback, we have also elevated our 401K match and tuition reimbursement programs, added compassion leave, doubled our parental leave, enhanced family planning benefits, launched the new applause recognition program, and changed Team Member comp ticket availability from block-out calendar to capacity managed based on park attendance.

More benefits

But that’s not at all. Universal is also focused on enhancing the work environment:

We are also focused on elevating the work environment and have begun upgrading break areas, back of house restrooms, and have exciting plans for Team Member dining that we will share shortly. But it doesn’t stop there, our culture seeks to create a path forward that supports our Team Members, gives them an opportunity to grow and fosters a real sense of purpose and belonging.

Disney may have a harder time attracting new employees when Universal is offering $2 more per hour and even more benefits than before. What are your thoughts on Universal’s actions? Let us know in the comments below and share this post with a friend who may be looking for work in the Central Florida area.

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Tuesday 14th of February 2023

Disney has been making money for so Many years with with little to no competition as their model is based on low wages. Having to recently up their pay significantly they are not making the money they are used to. With these changes at Universal I would think the better employees will go there leaving Disney with what is left over. They will need to get used to a Lower bottom line or increase prices to the point people don’t want to pay them or be in the same position where Chapek was that he said he did not like. Companies are having trouble competing with these wages. At least Universal will be at full staff!

Ian Lamble

Tuesday 14th of February 2023

Good news and very clever by Universal. Well done especially with Epic Universe coming online in 2025.

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