News broke late last week that Disney had reached a tentative agreement with the unions. And at first blush, it doesn’t look so bad, right? According to WKMG:
The latest agreement gives more then 20,000 Disney workers guaranteed annual pay raises for 3 years. They’ve been offered $650 bonuses with an additional $100 to workers who make $8.50 per hour or less. Disney agreed to continue to pay more than 70 percent of the cost of comprehensive health care coverage.
But, as that same news source reports, it’s only the “majority” of the unions who are in support of the contract. And the members still need to vote to ratify it, on February 25. The Local 362 blog is running pictures and stories of members who plan to vote No.
I couldn’t find details of the actual contract anywhere online, so I dropped a note to Local 362 (one of the dissenting unions), and received the following information in response:
All Full-Time employees on the day of the vote receive an additional $100 if vote passes
If vote passes:
You receive $750 if you make less than $8.50 per hour (non-tipped) and were working before 10/2/10
You receive $650 if you make more than $8.51 per hour (non-tipped) and were working before 10/2/10
You receive $100 if you were hired since 10/2/10Wage increasesWorkers hired before 12/12/1998 – “Topped-out”4/3/2011 4/1/2012 3/31/20132% wage increase 2.25% wage increase 2.5% wage increaseWorkers hired after 12/12/1998 – “In-range”4/3/2011 4/1/2012 3/31/20133% wage increase 3% wage increase 3% wage increaseMinimum wage increase of $0.25 for “in-Range” wage scale
This reflects additional money from the Company on the Bonus amounts. The wage increases are the same as previously proposed.
Unfortunately nothing changed on the cost of health care. The increases will result in workers making less at the end of the contract. The family plan is slated to go up 96 cents per hour over the life of the contract (If you get 40 hours – which many employees don’t).
A [sic] Attractions, Custodial or Merchandise employee working at Disney at least 13 years is slated to receive 88 cents per hour in wage increase during the contract. If they have a family and that cost increases 96 cents in the same time period, they would be making 8 cents less per hour.
Not surprisingly, a Disney spokesperson talking with WKMG sees things differently:
“The fact is that the overwhelming majority of cast members will end up with more money at the end of the contract,” said Andrea Finger, a Disney spokesperson.
I’d need a whole lot more information to crunch the numbers and figure out if she’s right (how many have 13 years seniority? how many have families?). But I do know that following a year of record stock prices and a huge raise for Iger, I’d like to see Disney Cast Members paid a little better too.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: A big part of the appeal of a Disney vacation is the outstanding Guest Services that the Cast Members bring. Almost every time I’ve traveled to a Disney Park, I’ve met at least one Cast Member who’s gone above and beyond the call of duty to fix a problem, or help me celebrate a special occasion. It’s just good business sense to pay Cast Members well enough to allow them to make a career of it, and not just make Disney a stopping-off-point on their way to better-paying jobs elsewhere.