The Service Trades Council Union, which represents the majority of Walt Disney World’s front-line cast members, has released three priorities for their upcoming wage negotiations with Disney. They are:
• Acceleration toward a “living wage” for all workers. The union claims 8,000 of its members are making $10 an hour now, and those positions won’t rise to $15 per hour until 2028 under the current deal.
• Cost-of-living raises for veteran employees who were hired as far back as the 1970s. According to the union, some longer-term employees haven’t been getting the same raises as newer employees.
• Simplified schedules for pay increases for all employee classifications.
Negotiations are set to begin August 28, 2017. If there is no agreement between the unions and Disney by October 24, other non-wage items are up for negotiation. The two sides last reached agreement in 2014, where the minimum wages were gradually raised to $10 per hour.
Disney did not comment on the proposals, but did say that it will offer a compensation package that is fair and equitable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of living has gone up 3% since the contract was last ratified. During the same time period, an attractions cast member has seen a raise of over 22%.