Disneyland Resort in California announced late Thursday that it reached an agreement with its largest labor union to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The increase, which will benefit more than 9,700 cast members at the California location, is a 40 percent increase over the current wage. The current minimum of $11 per hour will be lifted immediately to $13.25, with the full 40 percent rise to $15 per hour in January of 2019.
Josh D'Amaro, president of Disneyland Resort said in a press release, "Our cast members are at the heart of making our guests' dreams come true and this meaningful pay increase reflects the valuable roles they play at the resort."
The agreement with Master Services Council, the conglomerate of unions that represent the workers, also included at least 3 percent increases to wage rates for each year of the contract term.
Disney also said that "over the last five years, 89 percent of entry-level leadership roles in Disneyland operations have been filled by hourly cast members."
Earlier this year, Disney added to their outreach for works with a tuition assistance program. Disney cast members interested in obtaining a college degree or gaining valuable skills through vocational training will be eligible for financial services — opening up additional opportunities both within and outside of Disney.
A separate agreement with the Disney World staff in Orlando, which would lift their minimum wage from $10 per hour to $15 per hour by 2021, has yet to be finalized.