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Patrollers Reject Vail Resort’s offer

Vail Resorts passed the Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association (PCPSPA) the same contract proposal for the third time. With no upward movement in these counters, on Thursday the PCPSPA put the contract to vote with their union membership to see if they would prefer to settle for a weak economic package and rest, or continue negotiating.

The PCPSPA membership overwhelmingly said NO to a $15/hr minimum wage and voted the contract down.

In the words of long-time patroller Lauri Sibulkin, “A ‘yes’ vote would allow the precedent of the gradual deterioration of the patrol to carry on. A ‘no’ vote means $2/hr more in our pockets is important and that a company can’t continue to tell us that we should work slum jobs in exchange for fun.”

The strenuous uphill battle for fair wages will continue! Vail commented that that they are “taking steps to prepare the resort for a possible work stoppage in the interest of our guests, employees and community.”

A viral email thread shared widely on social media on Friday, January 7th, allegedly shows Vail Resorts Patrol Manager Nathan Jones trying to recruit ski patrollers at Vail-owned Attitash Mountain Resort in New Hampshire to come work temporarily at Park City Mountain. Contract negotiations between PCMR and the Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association (PCPSPA), which represents roughly 180 patrollers at the resort, are ongoing. Jones allegedly was offering those interested $600 per day or $75 per hour for an eight-hour workday along with travel costs to come work at Park City Mountain.

The PCPSPA commented, “We hope any patroller who receives such a message understands the fight we are taking on for our co-workers, families, and patrollers everywhere. Please help us by continuing your strong work at your home resorts.”

A fundraiser has been launched to support the Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association during their contract negotiations with Vail Resorts. Launched on Christmas Day, the GoFundMe has raised over half of its $100,000 target. As of January 7th, the PCPSPA has raised over $60,000. Here is their message:

The Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association is asking for your support! We remain in contract negotiations with Vail Resorts and we are committed to fighting until we secure fair and livable wages for our patrollers. The bargaining process has been ongoing for 16 months and we have seen our ski community show up again and again for us throughout this long process. Now, we are asking you to help us level the field and show the ski industry you continue to stand in solidarity by donating to our union action fund. Many of you have asked how you can contribute more; this fund is a direct way to assist the PCPSPA with more significant union action as we continue our push for a fair agreement.

So what is an action fund? An action fund is a safety net in the event we are forced into more significant action and we are not receiving paychecks. This fund differs from conventional fundraising that goes towards t-shirts, swag, etc. It is only utilized to help patrollers pay for basic needs such as rent and food in our last/worst case scenario.

We hope we can reach a deal that makes sense for our association and the future of the industry. If we achieve a reasonable contract without needing to use these action funds, we will donate this money to local charities related to our work and elevating the local labor force. We also intend to reserve a small portion of these funds to support the Local 7781 Patrols, which includes Big Sky, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Steamboat, and Steven’s Pass ski patrols, and their efforts to improve conditions for patrollers throughout the industry.

We are asking for donations from individuals only, as we cannot accept donations from businesses at this time. We understand many local businesses may wish to show their support and can do so by following us on social media and spreading the word. Demand more than a minimum wage rescue!!!

Thank you so much for your unwavering enthusiasm for our efforts. We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from the community- we couldn’t do this without you!

In solidarity,
The Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association

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