Universal Orlando Starting Wage Will Increase to $17 Per Hour Plus Other Team Member Wage Increases Announced


While Disney is announcing 7,000 lay-offs and Cast Members are protesting their wages, Universal Orlando is now offering a $17 an hour starting wage (beginning on June 4, 2023) for their Team Members and other pay increases based on how long they have been with the company. They are also announcing upgrades to break rooms, back of house restrooms and dining options.

Josh D’Amaro tried to do some of these at Walt Disney World before he was shifted to Parks, Resorts and Experiences. It’s unclear if any of his plans were actually utilized for the benefit of Cast Members. Now Universal is promising similar improvements to their people.

Universal Orlando is planning on hiring for more than 2,500 positions and this will “sweeten the pot” to attract potential employees. Disney meanwhile is not wanting to pay their Cast Members the $3 increase per hour to $18 an hour. So the Universal starting wage may cause some Disney Cast Members to switch sides. If that doesn’t, the better treatment of employees might.

Here is the letter that was sent to Universal Team Members:

Dear Team Members,

We have so much to look forward to in 2023 as we celebrate the exciting Mardi Gras season and gear up for the summer opening of our new Minion Land at Universal Studios Florida. You all are the spark that brings our brand and stories to life, and I could not be prouder to work alongside you. I always walk away from my time visiting with you feeling energized and inspired to continue to build upon our strong Team Member first culture.

We deeply believe in our mission to provide an inclusive environment where our Team Members are proud to work and we remain committed to that focus. Therefore, we continually evaluate our compensation, perks, and benefits programs and why we are committed to engaging with and listening to you. We truly believe TSAT is more than just a survey; it is your voice that helps us build a better Universal experience.

Wage increases and more benefits

To that end, 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. More details about how this individually impacts Team Members will be shared in the coming weeks.

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.

Enhancing our 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.

In just a few weeks, I will be bringing leaders together to kick off the year and talk about our priorities – one of which involves making every day EPIC in preparation for the opening of Epic Universe. I am excited to share this with you and I want to again thank you for everything you do to help us successfully deliver extraordinary Guest experiences.
I am excited about our bright future!

Karen Irwin
President & COO
Universal Orlando Resort

I know that my friends who are Team Members speak highly of the company. They are also very busy as the parks at Universal Orlando right now. Even being busy, they love it. It’s nice to have a company that tries to retain and treat employees well. Even during the pandemic Universal Orlando tried hard to keep their people paid longer.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Source: WDWNT

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.