The Happiest Place on Earth just got a little happier for more than 1,300 Disneyland security workers.
The theme park’s “security cast members” — including security officers, lead officers, sergeants, bag checkers and canine handlers — have secured a wage increase of nearly $8 an hour to be phased in over the next two years.
The workers, represented by the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America, got a $6 hourly raise effective April 1. It will be followed by a $1-an-hour hike April 1, 2024, and another $1 hourly raise on April 1, 2025. Combined, the raises will boost their minimum wage to $26 an hour from $18.10 hourly.
“We are more than pleased with the wage increase we were able to negotiate,” said David Hickey, SPFPA’s international president.
Disneyland officials issued a one-sentence statement saying they are “glad to have reached an agreement with the union.” Businesses across the board are having trouble filling all of their openings, Hickey said, so they’re willing to pay more to retain and attract workers.
“The attitude about coming to work has changed, and it has forced companies to pay more,” he said. “We have negotiations coming up at Disneyworld in Florida. They’re looking to have a major wage increase there, too.”
The Disneyland workers were previously represented by the Independent Employees Service Association, but that union recently merged with SPFPA to become SPFPA Local 1955 with a new executive board.
They voted in October 2021 to affiliate with SPFPA but had to finish the remainder of their IESA labor contract before making the transition.
Hickey said the union also plans to smooth out scheduling for the workers, which can be erratic at times due to a variety of factors.
“With COVID-19, companies have had difficulty scheduling enough people when some employees don’t or can’t come to work” he said. “Our union will work with Disneyland to have more input in scheduling. Our history with Disney around the country will help us deal with issues that may arise.”
SPFPA Local 1955 is also updating the grievance process for security workers at the Anaheim theme park.
“They’ve already had two training seminars on this,” Hickey said. “We’re showing the old IESA members how our grievance procedures work because the old way wasn’t necessarily the way we do that at Disney World.”
SPFPA represents more than 27,000 security police professionals across the U.S. and Canada. Its members also provide security services for the Department of Defense and NASA, among other contracts.