Fellow Professional Patrollers:
We all feel fortunate to be able to work at a job we love. But just because we have our dream job doesn’t mean that we should settle for less. Or that we shouldn’t be able to make a career out of ski patrolling—to be able to put down roots in the mountain communities that we’ve come to call home?
Maybe you’re lucky enough to still work for a “mom & pop” ski hill. Maybe you’re treated with respect & dignity, given a great gear allowance, sent to avalanche classes and paid a wage that allows you to live in a little mountain town. Maybe your concerns are taken seriously and you’re not told to “take it or leave it” or that “it’s my way or the highway.” But what if maybe you’re not so lucky?
The massive companies that now run the industry seem to have forgotten about us, and the towns that they take over. While our wages stagnate, rent skyrockets while the cost of skis, boots, clothing and other essential gear climbs – profits and stock value are still placed above everything. What about investing in the safety of the guests and employees? What about investing in experienced patrollers?
We all love skiing, and we patrol because it really is a great job. We enjoy working on the mountain and having the opportunity to help people. And unfortunately, because we enjoy our jobs and consider ourselves so lucky, we always seem to settle for less. But it doesn’t have to be that way: there is a way to gain a voice, a way to be heard—a way to turn patrolling into a career.
It shouldn’t be complicated. The over 400 patrollers in the United Professional Ski Patrol Association get to negotiate legally binding contracts with the resorts that we work for.
By banding together, we can start to make these changes, and turn patrolling into a career.
Beyond better wages:
- Overtime at 40 hours
- Equipment allowances that reflect the cost of the gear that we need to do our jobs
- Advanced avalanche training and educational opportunities
- Elimination of arbitrary “wage caps”
- Incentive pay for increased responsibilities
- An end to the “my way or the highway” policies that encourage high turnover
- A say in how the mountain operates to make sure that our safety is put first
These are issues that shouldn’t have to be addressed.
We’ve decided to band together to improve our wages and our working conditions.