Conditions that Union extends current CBA
[ By Kendra Walker ]
Vail Resorts and Crested Butte Ski Patrol are attempting to sort out grievances sparked recently when patrol learned they were not receiving Vail’s company-wide bonus this year due to their Union’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
Earlier this month, Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz announced the bonus as a token of gratitude to employees for their hard work this season during the pandemic; however, Crested Butte Ski Patrol were then informed by CBMR vice president and chief operating officer Tim Baker that they were ineligible due to their Union’s CBA. The Union board requested to work it out with Baker and Vail, stating, “For the Patrol, it’s not about the money, it never has been. It is about the safety of our guests, respect to frontline healthcare workers, and maintaining a trained Professional Ski Patrol.”
In response, Vail has proposed that if the Union agrees to extend its current CBA contract for one more year for the 2021/2022 season, ski patrol will receive this year’s bonus. Additionally, Vail has offered to include the Union in a company-wide “Patrol Project” still in the works, designed to support patrol career building and aimed on patrol retention.
The Union board sent the proposal to its lawyers to analyze the deal and make sure it is the right outcome for the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol of America. The Union also requested more information regarding the Patrol Project, and Baker responded in an email obtained by the CB News on March 22.
“We remain open to bargaining with the Union over bargaining unit employees’ participation in the end of season bonus program for 2021,” Baker stated in the letter. “Our proposal is that unit employees would participate in the bonus program now, in exchange for a one-year extension of the CBA. To the extent they would apply at Crested Butte, we would likewise implement certain outcomes of the Patrol Project.
“We can appreciate that the Union has questions about the details of the Patrol Project that is underway,” he continued. “However, we do not yet have any information that would be responsive to the Union’s request. Details regarding the Patrol Project are far from final. The team of patrollers and patrol directors from across the Company who are working on this project only re- launched the effort just a few weeks ago. While some outcomes might be rolled out as soon as next season, implementation of some will likely occur over the long term.”
He continued, “Regardless, none of the outcomes lead to unilateral changes to Union employees’ terms and conditions of employment, nor will they unilaterally expand the Company’s Management Rights outlined in the existing CBA.”
Baker also said that Vail does not have any information responsive to requests regarding new wage caps, possible new incentives, or changes to hourly wage rates, as wage caps and hourly rates will not be finalized until later in the year.
He concluded, “The Union has stated that it wishes to resolve this quickly and avoid bargaining this matter in the next contract negotiations. We are of the same mind as the Union in desire to come to agreement on this. Our request is that we resolve this by Wednesday, March 24 to enable enough time to confirm this prior to the end of the winter season at Crested Butte the first week of April.”
As of press time, Union board representatives told the Crested Butte News that the Union is actively working with the company, and responding.
“Yes, the company is working with us on a one year contract extension,” they said. “With the contract extension will come bonuses for all eligible patrollers. The Company does not have any details to the ‘Patrol Project,’ however this project is not tied to the one year patrol contract extension.”