The Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association (PCPSPA) voted to approve a strike authorization this past weekend, with 98% of union members voting yes on secret ballots. While this vote does not guarantee a strike will occur, it does show the union’s willingness to walkout if it becomes necessary.
A post on the PCPSPA’s Instagram laid out their reaction to the results.
“We understand that a strike has significant consequences reaching far beyond our membership to other mountain employees and the Park City community. Ideally the company sees this authorization an indicator of our collective strength and offers us a reasonable contract without requiring further action.”
The union’s team will be entering round 50 of negotiations with Vail Resorts on the night of January 10th, and with the strike authorization passing, the union is hoping to see major movement from the company.
The PCPSPA entered into negotiations with Vail Resorts in August 2020, and, according to an Instagram post on December 5, 2021, are looking for an average wage of 19$/hr and starting wage of $17/hr for ski patrollers.
Vail Resorts, however, is yet to offer anything above $15/hr, despite Vail Resorts CEO Kristen Lynch reportedly making over $1,000,000 a year. Meaning, if she worked the same hours as a ski patroller, she’d be making $425/hr.
Housing at any ski resort is almost always completely unaffordable for someone living off the current Park City ski patrol wage, and the prices of almost everything are rising. In my own opinion, the PCPSPA’s willingness to strike should be a wakeup sign for Vail Resorts. Ski patrollers are necessary for ski resorts to remain open, and unless Vail wants to see their income halt, they should probably listen to their unions.
Images from Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association