Aspen Skiing Co. scraps its ‘Team Leader’ system |

Aspen Skiing Co. scraps its ‘Team Leader’ system

ASPEN, Colorado – The Aspen Skiing Co. has officially ended the “Team Leader” system that was created 18 years ago to improve communication between its ski instructors and management and prevent formation of a union.

Scores of ski instructors who were elected by their peers as Team Leaders at the end of last winter were informed Tuesday that their positions as representatives have been eliminated in an overhaul of the ski school’s internal structure.

The overhaul is being undertaken because the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the company’s advisory board structure doesn’t comply with labor regulations.

“So that it is in compliance with the NLRB, we have chosen to disestablish the Team Leader structure and position as it exists, and develop a new system that will encourage the continued culture of collaboration and communication,” Katie Ertl, managing director of the ski school, wrote Tuesday in the email to ski instructors. A copy was obtained by The Aspen Times.

Skico employs 1,200 instructors. It has held two open meetings with instructors so far as part of the process to figure out how to restructure the ski school. The next meeting is Monday at Bumps. The meeting last Monday focused on restructuring the Team Leader system, according to Ertl’s email.

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“This unfortunately means that the job of Team Leader has to be eliminated as we develop the changes that will take its place,” Ertl wrote in her email. “Therefore, as it stands, there is currently no Team Leader job designation in our school. We are all very grateful for the efforts and contributions you have made (some of you for many years) in this role, and our school is better for it.”

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