Universal’s hourly wage will increase to $17

In a letter to team members, Universal Orlando Resort President & COO Karen Irwin has announced that effective June 4, 2023, Universal’s starting hourly wage will increase to $17. Irwin also noted, many team members “will receive an increase based on the new rates and their time with the company.”

Universal increases hourly wage
Image courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

Irwin’s letter outlines additional employment benefits that have (or will be) changed:

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.

Today’s announcement about Universal’s hourly wage follows a similar increase in June 2021, when Universal raised its starting base rate from $13 to $15 per hour – making the overall increase for team members $4 per hour in two years.

The letter states more details will be shared with team members individually; however, a wage increase is always welcome news, and social media posts have congratulated Universal for the decision.

Disney also increased its hourly base wage to $15 in 2021; however, the news from Universal is particularly noteworthy in light of ongoing negotiations over salary between Disney and the union representing cast members over salaries at Walt Disney World Resort. Disney is reportedly offering a $1 per hour annual raise (guaranteed for the next four years), while cast members are asking for a $3 per hour raise. Negotiations are expected to resume tomorrow.


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