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December 20, 2004

Equity Members in Florida Overwhelmingly Ratify New Four-Year Pact with Walt Disney World

Significant Gains in Salaries, Other Monetary Items Achieved

Actors’ Equity members working at Walt Disney World in Florida have overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year contract. The pact was approved by a 95% margin, with 38% of eligible voters returning ballots. Equity represents 400 performers who appear in live attractions at the 30,500-acre theme park in Orlando. Paid-up Members who worked under the previous four-year term of the agreement were eligible to vote in the ratification.

Equity’s Chief Negotiator, Zalina Hoosein, said that Equity achieved “significant results and breakthroughs” in many areas. Among those are:

  • Significant increases in pay rates; as an example, the annual increases for full-time and contracted casuals, which are tied to the renewal of the individual employment contract, will increase as follows:
    • First Year 2.6%
    • Second Year 2.5%
    • Third Year 2.5%
    • Fourth Year 2.5%
  • Non-contracted casuals will receive a 3% increase in each year of the agreement;
  • Increases in the Contract Completion Bonus, for performers who complete their contract of twelve months or more, as follows:
    • Current $1000
    • First Year $1,025 2.5%
    • Second Year $1,075 4.8%
    • Third Year $1,175 9.3%
    • Fourth Year $1,225 4.25%
  • Increases in Pension contributions;
  • Increases in increments for stunts, dance captains, lead captains;
  • An additional core holiday (Martin Luther King Day) and holiday pay for casuals;
  • An increase in contributions for Supplemental Workers’ Compensation insurance
  • Health Coverage: If a performer is recalled within one year of a lay-off, health benefits begin immediately.
  • Defined conditions under which a dance and/or vocal captain shall be assigned;
  • Improvements in Conventions and Special Events work rules;
  • Per diem for performers who travel out of town, based on federal government rate, rather than performers having to reconcile individual expenses;
  • Retroactivity on money items to September 25, 2004

The Chair of the Negotiating Team was Equity Councillor Valerie Toth-Grant. The negotiating team consisted of over 30 diverse, highly skilled performers from all areas of the park. Others who actively participated in negotiations were: Equity Second VP Jean-Paul Richard, Orlando Business Representatives Brian Spitler and Jennie Davis; and staff members Pam Galbraith and Jackie Dames.

David Lotz
December 20, 2004

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