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Universal Orlando To Raise Base Pay To $17 Per Hour

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
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45,427
Orlando
Universal is taking the opportunity of Disney having a drawn out negotiation with the Disney Union (i.e. Disney Cast Members) and being unwilling to give anything but a $1 pay raise since negotiations started in August and they are raising the base pay starting on June 4th from $15 per hour to $17 per hour (could be more depending on how long you've been with the company).

Wages are also just one thing improving as Karen Irwin put it in her email to TM's: "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."

Universal was also first to announce they were jumping to $15 per hour back in 2021 after the $15/hour law passed statewide in the 2020 election. Now technically the $15/hour doesn't go into full effect until 2026, but by then I suspect you're looking at Universal being at around $20 (and then the $15/hour minimum is already outdated). Gotta love a company that doesn't outright despise their workers and actually does things to improve their quality of life.

 
Good timing for this while Disney is in negotiations for their new contract. It's definitely making the $1 an hour Disney was offering (starting rate $16 per hour) look as inadequate as it was and the unions demand for a $3 an hour increase look reasonable.
 
Good timing for this while Disney is in negotiations for their new contract. It's definitely making the $1 an hour Disney was offering (starting rate $16 per hour) look as inadequate as it was and the unions demand for a $3 an hour increase look reasonable.
And now Disney is going to be forced to pay at least $17/hour to stay competitive. If I had to gues, Universal decided to do this because they didn't want to risk the union getting their way with the $3 increase and with Disney looking bad for only offering a $1 increase, this plays in their favor across Orlando.
 
And now Disney is going to be forced to pay at least $17/hour to stay competitive. If I had to gues, Universal decided to do this because they didn't want to risk the union getting their way with the $3 increase and with Disney looking bad for only offering a $1 increase, this plays in their favor across Orlando.
I'd say the motivator is universal's desire to find 2500 new hires with more needed in a year or so. Why not stick it to the mouse in the process
 
Universal is taking the opportunity of Disney having a drawn out negotiation with the Disney Union (i.e. Disney Cast Members) and being unwilling to give anything but a $1 pay raise since negotiations started in August and they are raising the base pay starting on June 4th from $15 per hour to $17 per hour (could be more depending on how long you've been with the company).

Wages are also just one thing improving as Karen Irwin put it in her email to TM's: "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."

Universal was also first to announce they were jumping to $15 per hour back in 2021 after the $15/hour law passed statewide in the 2020 election. Now technically the $15/hour doesn't go into full effect until 2026, but by then I suspect you're looking at Universal being at around $20 (and then the $15/hour minimum is already outdated). Gotta love a company that doesn't outright despise their workers and actually does things to improve their quality of life.

I first saw it on the unofficial UOTeam Group, and then I check my email , and lo and behold YES!
 
This has been desperately needed for the past year now, finally getting their act together.

Hopefully, we see visible guest-facing changes soon, my last few visits to the parks have not been the best. (I blame management, not the TMs)
Yeah, it's sad to say. We went in 2020, skipped 2021, and came in Sept 2022. I wouldn't say the actual customer service was worse or anything, but we had a lot of issues with picking up tickets when we arrived. Then we had problems with our hotel keys getting into our room as well.

I get that stuff happens, and they fixed those issues - but having never had any problems previously.. it was a sad way to start the trip lol
 
Hopefully USH pay gets raised soon too. They’re still hiring for jobs at under $16.20/hr
 
Universal TMs have been killing it the last few years especially, well deserved

Also, smart move to say "hey, it's done" when Disney is wading through their own self-created monstrous bureaucracy to get $1 more for CMs lol
Cheers mate. When I am at Ripsaw I give it my all, so the raise is welcome :) Still a lot of staffing issues throughout, hence the new hiring spree, then I imagine in June there will be another hiring spree.
 
I'd say the motivator is universal's desire to find 2500 new hires with more needed in a year or so. Why not stick it to the mouse in the process
I mean, they need to start thinking of bulking up staffing to prepare for a new park and transition that will take (I know lists are being created by management of who will be transferring to Epic as of now with management going so far as to ask TM's if they'd want to work there so that they can either count them in or out), but I can guarantee you that Disney will be at $17 by June 4th or so as well so it's not exactly going to give them much of an advantage. What Universal is probably hoping for is people who are fed up working for Disney to jump ship over to Universal.
 
I mean, they need to start thinking of bulking up staffing to prepare for a new park and transition that will take (I know lists are being created by management of who will be transferring to Epic as of now with management going so far as to ask TM's if they'd want to work there so that they can either count them in or out), but I can guarantee you that Disney will be at $17 by June 4th or so as well so it's not exactly going to give them much of an advantage. What Universal is probably hoping for is people who are fed up working for Disney to jump ship over to Universal.
Slightly off topic - but I'm curious if Universal is aiming to move more seasoned/tenured TMs to Epic rather than relying on mostly new people.

Or, they're bulking up now so that by the time Epic opens, its TMs won't be "new."
 
Slightly off topic - but I'm curious if Universal is aiming to move more seasoned/tenured TMs to Epic rather than relying on mostly new people.

Or, they're bulking up now so that by the time Epic opens, its TMs won't be "new."
They are 100% looking at moving the people who have been around longer (new people are not even considered unless they prove themselves between now and when people transfer officially), but somebody needs to replace them at USF, IOA, CW, and VB, right?
 
They are 100% looking at moving the people who have been around longer (new people are not even considered unless they prove themselves between now and when people transfer officially), but somebody needs to replace them at USF, IOA, CW, and VB, right?
Yes, I was mostly just thinking out loud lol. I imagine there will be quite a decent chunk of TMs who'd want to work in Nintendo and Monsters.
 
Yes, I was mostly just thinking out loud lol. I imagine there will be quite a decent chunk of TMs who'd want to work in Nintendo and Monsters.
Some people don't want to move venues because Epic Universe is farther away for them. In attractions in particular you need an experience team when you open an individual attraction. To open an entire park is going to take a lot of finding the right people to make the new park run as smoothly as a new park can knowing it will be mobbed with people on its first ever day of operation.
 
I'll be interested to see how many people from Disney decide to go over to Universal between the better pay and the increased opportunities...
The better pay won’t and can’t last. They can’t afford to be at a competitive disadvantage. Let me also stress again, the $17 base rate at Universal doesn’t kick in until June 4, so it’s not like Disney is already behind the 8-ball.
 
By 2025 I’m thinking that base pay will probably have increased a dollar or two but I’m loving Uni taking advantage of this situation with Disney and its workers.

Why not save yourself the trouble of having to fight with the Union and just do the right thing.
 
By 2025 I’m thinking that base pay will probably have increased a dollar or two but I’m loving Uni taking advantage of this situation with Disney and its workers.

Why not save yourself the trouble of having to fight with the Union and just do the right thing.
Universal might go up to $18 for 2025 in order to make sure that they have enough staff to fill out all of their parks. Then next time Disney fights with their union (which is normally 4-5 year contracts) it'll approach $20.
 
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