Three-year deal makes everyone happy
By Mark Reaman
The Crested Butte ski patrol and Crested Butte Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts have reached a labor agreement after five months of negotiations.
The new three-year contract was signed at the end of the ski season and includes a pay raise, financial incentives for continuing education, equipment allowance increases, a four-fold increase in training opportunities, and enhanced input into workplace safety.
According to a press release from the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol Association (CBPSPA), the new agreement also provides retroactive increases for the 2018-2019 season, and a specialty skill set compensation scale that begins with the 2019-2020 season.
Neither side would disclose details of the compensation package but it appears patrol got a raise and financial incentives to upgrade individual skills.
“This process was long and difficult, but we feel very good about the finished product,” said Scott Sanders, secretary/treasurer for the CBPSPA. “With support from our local community we decided to continue to work without a contract when our previous agreement expired on November 28 in order to maintain the professional and safe reputation that Crested Butte is known for. We were eventually able to address all of our top priorities and reach a deal that will provide job security and stability for the next three years.”
The union believes the new labor agreement, the first between the ski patrollers and the new ownership, will provide job security and stability. The new contract was approved overwhelmingly by union members.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) management is also excited to have a signed agreement with the ski patrol.
“We are pleased to be moving forward with a multi-year contract through the 2020-2021 winter season so that we can continue to deliver on the terrific and safe experience our guests have come to expect at Crested Butte Mountain Resort,” said CBMR general manager Tim Baker.
He continued, “We are approaching the end of our first season with Crested Butte and have enjoyed learning about the resort, the community and our new employees, including the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol Association and its history prior to our ownership of CBMR. As a company, we are committed to treating all of our employees fairly and investing in their continued development. This agreement is in alignment with our policies, programs and compensation practices.”
Sanders said some of the training opportunities include things like Avalanche Pro I and II courses, Rigging for Rescue, Avalanche Professional Rescue courses and weather forecasting courses. Specialty skill sets include high angle rescue specialties, professional avalanche certifications, avalanche route leader roles and paramedic, EMT-advanced and IV certifications.