Are Disney World wage scales fair?

Are Disney World wage scales fair?

There are 209 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from Mar 20, 2007, titled Are Disney World wage scales fair?. In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

As Walt Disney World and its biggest group of labor unions plunge into contract negotiations this month, one of the unions is heralding a new economic study that claims workers have been underpaid and Central ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Orlando Sentinel.

NANCY RATNER

AOL

#21 Mar 20, 2007
I DO NOT DRIVE AND WOULD LIKE TO WORK FOR DISNEY,THEY HAVE ALL SORTS OF TRANSPORTATION WHY NOT FOR THE EMPLOYEES
rac6886

Orlando, FL

#23 Mar 20, 2007
Okay - let's be real on this thread. First off - Disney does not start all workers off at $6.90 - if you work in maintenance, horticulture, etc - those are covered by different union contracts and you start at a differtn rate. Now - if you start working in one of the parks - ride operator or merchandise, yes, you start at $6.90 - and that is everyone, whether you are a high school student or a retiree with a PhD. Then you have "step increases" - after three months, after a year, etc. Back when I was covered by the union contract, I couldn't wait until I hit three years because that's when I could finally "breathe" and had a little wiggle room in the pay - moral - Disney rewards longevity.

As for the unions, they are a joke. For every increase they "get you" from Disney, they increase the union dues. At one point, they were taking an hour plus of my pay per week in order to "represent" me... and how did they do that? By telling me to vote "no" to a contract two times, and then saying on the third time - go ahead and ratify it - it won't get any better. Unions had a place before OSHA and the whistleblowers rule - but nowadays - you're protected a myraid of different ways. Yes - Disney could stand to pay its workers some more money - especially when starting out. But don't think the union will get it for you. People always talk about how great Disney "used to be". I wonder if that was before the unions came in?

I would rather be rated on my performance instead of some arbitrary scale that someone else negotiated.
Native

Orlando, FL

#24 Mar 20, 2007
WestOrlD wrote:
People choose where they work. Motivation & experience get you farther than a college degree any day. Unless you're studying to be a doctor, lawyer, or an accountant, don't waste your time in college.
I both agree and disagree with you...while I do not have any degrees, I have managed to excel in my first career as well as my second one..but could not have done it without continuing education through out my life..As for Disney..If the workers there are not happy with their wages..find a new job...with unemployment in CFL as low as it is there are plenty to be had

“Smile...It Catches On !”

Level 1

Since: Dec 06

Somewhere Very Pretty !

#25 Mar 20, 2007
rac6886 wrote:
Okay - let's be real on this thread. First off - Disney does not start all workers off at $6.90 - if you work in maintenance, horticulture, etc - those are covered by different union contracts and you start at a differtn rate. Now - if you start working in one of the parks - ride operator or merchandise, yes, you start at $6.90 - and that is everyone, whether you are a high school student or a retiree with a PhD. Then you have "step increases" - after three months, after a year, etc. Back when I was covered by the union contract, I couldn't wait until I hit three years because that's when I could finally "breathe" and had a little wiggle room in the pay - moral - Disney rewards longevity.
As for the unions, they are a joke. For every increase they "get you" from Disney, they increase the union dues. At one point, they were taking an hour plus of my pay per week in order to "represent" me... and how did they do that? By telling me to vote "no" to a contract two times, and then saying on the third time - go ahead and ratify it - it won't get any better. Unions had a place before OSHA and the whistleblowers rule - but nowadays - you're protected a myraid of different ways. Yes - Disney could stand to pay its workers some more money - especially when starting out. But don't think the union will get it for you. People always talk about how great Disney "used to be". I wonder if that was before the unions came in?
I would rather be rated on my performance instead of some arbitrary scale that someone else negotiated.
"I would rather be rated on my performance instead of some arbitrary scale that someone else negotiated."

Excellent statement !
Zoboomafoo

United States

#26 Mar 20, 2007
I think I'm missing something here. Serious question: Are people being forced to work at Disney? Are they being employed against their will? Because that would be illegal. If Disney employees don't make enough to buy food, clothing and shelter, then they should go work somewhere that pays more. No?
Former Cast Member

Longwood, FL

#27 Mar 20, 2007
People stay at Disney because it is comfortable. They offer great benefits and for the most part everyone is nice. If you are not interested in pay or promotions then this is a great place to work.

I find it kind of funny the spin both sides put on the issue. The fact is the average cast member earns just under $30 a year. The fact is most people DO leave because of the low pay if they were to release all of the exit interviews that is what you would see. The turn over is much lower then 8 years or even the industry average of 2 years. Maybe the 8 years only refers to blue cards (Salary). If you were to look at specific roles (lifeguard, Merch, F&B) you would see a much lower retention rate.

The sad part is I have a degree from an outstanding university and was at Disney for over four years I was one of the highest paid houly cast members and I only made $25K even though I was responsible for over $6 million in revenue. I guess I am the only one to blame for staying so long.

The local executives know what is going on and they know why everyone leaves the problem is corporate does not want to spend more money on payroll. They want to keep the stock price going up and you don't do that by spending another billion dollars that will not have a ROI. Corporate believes you can get the job done with a worker making $6.90 an hour just as well as someone making $10 so why pay $10. They will not change their ways unless they get negative public pressure.

“Smile...It Catches On !”

Level 1

Since: Dec 06

Somewhere Very Pretty !

#28 Mar 20, 2007
MINNIELADY wrote:
I was thrilled to be hired by Disney. I have received guest fanatic citations and have had carrots dangled in front of me since day 1 - leadership roles, cross utilization, you name it - but I have NEVER been offered more money. Disney is constantly telling cast members that WE are the reason guests stay and leave happy - and return year after year. And the guests are the only thing I enjoy at Disney. The Union's slogan for this years round of negotiations is "What about my dreams, Mickey?".
In the meantime, I am regrettably, looking for another job.
You all ARE the reason that we keep coming back year after year. It is you all that we look forward to seeing, no matter what your role. I for one love talking and joking around with the cast members.
It is sad that Disney will lose people like you, the ones that love their work, due to the pay. I hope that maybe someone at Disney is reading all this and gets a clue !
Insured in Lake County

Orlando, FL

#29 Mar 20, 2007
Former Cast Member wrote:
Corporate believes you can get the job done with a worker making $6.90 an hour just as well as someone making $10 so why pay $10. They will not change their ways unless they get negative public pressure.
they will change when applicants become scarce and turnover increases dramatically. it wouldn't surprise me to see WDW outsource all their hourly workers. their stock will split.- a|ex
ddkk

Arcadia, FL

#30 Mar 20, 2007
News Flash!!!

As long as people keep going to work at WDW for crap wages, WDW will continue to pay crap wages and smile about it. If you really can make more money elsewhere with your current experience and skills, then go do it. If you can't and are relegated to a low-wage job because you don't have the appropriate skills, experience or education, only you can change that.
sandegold

Palm Bay, FL

#31 Mar 20, 2007
He said union officials are "cautiously optimistic" that Disney World will agree to new wage scales, because the company is having a hard time attracting and retaining workers with its current pay and a local unemployment rate hovering near 3 percent..........
"My husband has worked for Disney for over 15 yrs...and every time they give them their p i s sant raise,it gets taken back because they raise the insurance rates...then he gets less money than he had BEFORE HE GOT THE RAISE...and,before any of you say.."Why doesn't he quit...?"...He doesn't quit,because he has so many years into this god forsaken job at Mickey Rat...They need to give the people that work there a wage that is equal to what they should be making at the same job somewhere else in the same job...Let's hope this time the Unions can do this....

“Smile...It Catches On !”

Level 1

Since: Dec 06

Somewhere Very Pretty !

#33 Mar 20, 2007
sandegold wrote:
He said union officials are "cautiously optimistic" that Disney World will agree to new wage scales, because the company is having a hard time attracting and retaining workers with its current pay and a local unemployment rate hovering near 3 percent..........
"My husband has worked for Disney for over 15 yrs...and every time they give them their p i s sant raise,it gets taken back because they raise the insurance rates...then he gets less money than he had BEFORE HE GOT THE RAISE...and,before any of you say.."Why doesn't he quit...?"...He doesn't quit,because he has so many years into this god forsaken job at Mickey Rat...They need to give the people that work there a wage that is equal to what they should be making at the same job somewhere else in the same job...Let's hope this time the Unions can do this....
IF the pay was so much better, would your husband enjoy working there ? 15 years is a long time. He should be a highly valued worker.
Rene

Tampa, FL

#35 Mar 20, 2007
The wages are beyond ridiculous. My husband worked there part time as do most workers--and only for the benefits--free park admission, discounts etc. That is the only value to a disney career unless you are a youngster just looking to gain experience. It is sad that they choose not to pay better for some positions when they certainly have the means to do so. The rest of Orlando looks to them and this keeps the Orlando wages low and the economy unsteady. A low unemployment rate doesn't help much if you can't support your family on what you earn which is the reason for a job in the first place. It also leads to burn out and frustration. The sad part is many WDW workers are highly educated and deserving of so much more but that often goes unrecognized.
Black Orpheus

Windermere, FL

#36 Mar 20, 2007
sandegold wrote:
He said union officials are "cautiously optimistic" that Disney World will agree to new wage scales, because the company is having a hard time attracting and retaining workers with its current pay and a local unemployment rate hovering near 3 percent..........
"My husband has worked for Disney for over 15 yrs...and every time they give them their p i s sant raise,it gets taken back because they raise the insurance rates...then he gets less money than he had BEFORE HE GOT THE RAISE...and,before any of you say.."Why doesn't he quit...?"...He doesn't quit,because he has so many years into this god forsaken job at Mickey Rat...They need to give the people that work there a wage that is equal to what they should be making at the same job somewhere else in the same job...Let's hope this time the Unions can do this....
Especially mean to Singles ----------

Men should Not make more than Women.

Disney is the Top Vacation destination In The World !
Therefore Disney should Pay the Top Vacation wages in the world.

Why doesn't Florida raise the Minimum Wage to 18.00 per Hour for Disney ?

Run the disney out of the State if they won't pay.

No other state will want them if they Pay bad.
Kate

Okeechobee, FL

#38 Mar 20, 2007
Insured in Lake County wrote:
<quoted text>
they will change when applicants become scarce and turnover increases dramatically. it wouldn't surprise me to see WDW outsource all their hourly workers. their stock will split.- a|ex
Qualified applicants (and let's be honest, it doesn't take much to be qualified these days at WDW) are getting rarer -- that's why Casting is holding career fairs almost quarterly, increasing headcount in community recruiting, growing the size of their College program and recruiting heavily for it at rural and community colleges.

Turnover is already over or near 100% in some positions, and the amount of part time and seasonal workers on payroll is astronomical. All HR sees is that for every Floridian who gets fed up and leaves the company, there's someone ready to move down here from NY or PA to replace them (for a few months, anyways...).

If Disney hasn't put the pieces together by now, they're not going to.
wondering in Orlando

Lakeland, FL

#39 Mar 20, 2007
Disney is a joke. Anyone who believes in this Company should wake up. Roger Iger and his clowns in Burbank could care less about the Disney Cast Member. They pay 6.90 an hour and what a joke. The spokesman for Disney says the average cast member stays 8 years. I would love to know their average age. I will bet money they are seniors who do not need full time and those members hired full time in management roles. Disney only pays its Managers a decent wage. Of course, they abuse them to death. They use college kids who the Company places in apartments that sleep 6 or 8 people in one apartment and then charge them to stay. This Company is the reason wages in Central Florida are so low. Every Company in Central Florida measures itself against Disney wages. Hence the term "Competitive Pay." Ever notice how hotels in the area offer $8.00 and hour all the time..why? Because the joke called Disney pays their hotel staff 7.00 an hour or the highly paid front desk at $7.40 and hour. I would love to see the Executive Management in Florida and Burbak try to live off that. Oh I forgot , according to these people only "college kids, seniors and second income earners rely on that. The people who come to visit Disney may think twice if they knew how poorly this Company really treats Cast Members. The only Cast Members happy are the ones that eat and breath Disney or are there for a seond job or after retirement. It is sad to see the quality of Disney is gone. Sit and listen at Downtown Disney or one of their hotels and you will hear guests all the time "Disney was never like this before..or what has happened to Disney? Not as clean, the workers are from some other company and the prices are ridiculous. Disney places people in strategic locations to inquire with guests as to their experience and I am sure it always comes out in Disney's favor. But that is because they(the guests ) have a nostalgia and remember Walt and His Dream, that is why so many bring their children....not the clowns and ignorants that run it now. Good Luck unions, you will need it. STICK TO YOUR GUNS. Have every worker not show up for three straight days and you will bring this Company to its knees. Can you imagine the publicity and the guest anger. Fight back!! You deserve better from this selfish Company that bears no resemblance to the one Walt envisioned. Walt still brings the people to the parks not Roger Iger.
wondering in Orlando

Lakeland, FL

#40 Mar 20, 2007
To Kate in Winter Park:

I agree with you that Disney figures it can go to other areas to find people. One problem with your argument is the internet. People in other areas and small towns have access to the news about Disney and its wages and the way they treat their Cast Members. These people are not dumb. They know how much it will cost to move and live somewhere else. Most do not believe that Tinker Bell's picksy dust is going to pay their bills.

The reason Disney has those career fairs is because they are not reaching their numbers. Hence the reason for outsourcing of some roles. Disney throws it into another Company's lap to find people. If Disney was so successful they would only need one job fair and just wait at the Casting Center for all those people from other areas. In fact, fewer and fewer people are coming for those job fairs. The reputation of Disney is no longer what it once was. The 24hr news and internet no longer allow Disney the ease to hide its selfish side.

And for all those people that say to cast members "if you do not like go somewhere else" I say that is true but the loss of good workers that are committed and eager to work is a sad day for Disney and I will bet money that if these same people who say "leave if you are not happy" go to the park and see the changes in the style and commitment of the worker will say "boy Disney is not what it use to be." Just remember why..after all you tell the hard workers to leave because the Company pays nothing..so be happy with what is left and pay the higher ticket prices. It is certainly not to compensate the Cast Member.

“Smile...It Catches On !”

Level 1

Since: Dec 06

Somewhere Very Pretty !

#41 Mar 20, 2007
I am not happy saying this, but a lot of what you have said is true. It is not the same and I do not think Walt would be pleased. I do not know anything about the workers and how they are treated,other then what I read on here. We did notice this past Jan. that there was no enforcement in the parks about any of the rules. No eating on the train..right, food wrappers everywhere. No flash photography..right, tell me another one. We had trouble with customer service in one store at MGM. No people, we were the only ones there and we wanted to look at two watches and the cast members acted like we were not there.
Grant it, we were dressed for Disney and not shopping at Lord and Taylors, but that does not set well with me. So I know you are right, that things are changing and we did hear a few others comment on it.

I hope that they wake up before the Dream is gone. I look forward to our yearly trips.
SHOCKED

United States

#42 Mar 20, 2007
wondering in Orlando wrote:
Roger Iger and his clowns in Burbank could care less about the Disney Cast Member.......STICK TO YOUR GUNS. Have every worker not show up for three straight days and you will bring this Company to its knees. Can you imagine the publicity and the guest anger. Fight back!! You deserve better from this selfish Company that bears no resemblance to the one Walt envisioned. Walt still brings the people to the parks not Roger Iger.
First of all, it's ROBERT Iger, not Roger.

I do agree with your statements.
I have been with the company for 17 1/2 years, I stayed only because I was a single mom and I had my child's daycare set-up, the before and after school set-up (and any parent know how hard it is to find a trustworthy school) and I didn't want to move.

Even though the wages here are not suitable ( I only make $11.57 an hour ) and the little .25 cent raise they gave us not too long ago is eaten up by the insurance rates that went up. It took 6 years to get that .25 cent raise.

Now my child just started high school and I can seriously think of moving on, but I will need a job that STARTS at what I make now to maintain paying my bills I already have. So, I will probably have to move away from this area, which means more expenses.

If I didn't receive monthly social security for my child, I would not be able to live on Disney pay.

We at work, often joke about what would happen if the entire Walt Disney World staff would do a "sick-in" for even one day!? I know our managers would not be able to run the duties we perform daily!!!

aahh...that is our Dream....sorry, Walt.
otownnole

Orlando, FL

#44 Mar 20, 2007
WestOrlD wrote:
People choose where they work. Motivation & experience get you farther than a college degree any day. Unless you're studying to be a doctor, lawyer, or an accountant, don't waste your time in college.
You can't be serious.
Former Cast Member

Longwood, FL

#46 Mar 20, 2007
Sorry to say but, Disney is having a tough time hiring and retaing now it has been rough for quite sometime. They have lowered the standards and cut the amount of training for traditions (WDW history & orientation) down to just 4 hours in some cases. It was 3 days when I went through it. Turn over is well over 100% in a lot of positions but, corporate just tells the local executives oh well, deal with it. They have problems over in Disneyland too and they have corporates ear. They just don't care unless the stock price falls.

I suggest they pay cast members based on the sales of the area they work in or give them stock options just like the executives. That would prevent the additional cost of taxes on the company.

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