Walt Disney Co. has offered to raise starting pay at its Florida theme parks by 25 percent to $10 an hour over the next two years, almost matching the federal minimum wage sought by President Barack Obama. Disney presented the proposal to the Service Trades Council, a consortium of six labor groups, the company and union representatives which represent more than 30,000 employees at Walt Disney World In the contract, minimum pay would go up to $10 per hour by July 2016, from $8.03. If the contract is accepted, starting pay for new hires would be $9 immediately, go up to $9.50 next year and ultimately $10 in 2016. "I'm very pleased," Ed Chambers, president of the council, said in a telephone interview. "We're well on our way to getting a deal done." The contract being negotiated covers full-time hourly employees at the world's most-popular theme-park complex. "It is more generous than they have been in the past," said Donna-Lynne Dalton, secretary-treasurer of the council. "It comes at a cost." Disney also told the unions it wants to stop offering pensions to new hourly employees starting in 2016. New hires would be offered a 3 percent company match to a 401(k)-style retirement plan, said Dalton. The company doesn't currently contribute to that plan, which is available to employees from bell staff to costumed entertainers, she said. Chambers said the union would oppose the pension change. "This offer reflects our appreciation and care for our cast members and our commitment to providing a leading employment package," Kim Prunty, a Disney World spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. "We look forward to working with the union and engaging in constructive negotiations to finalize and reach a collective bargaining agreement."