Vail Resorts, Park City Mountain Resort ski patrol reach tentative deal, likely averting a strike
Union vote on the agreement in principle expected to be held shortly
Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts and the union that represents ski patrollers on Thursday jointly announced the two sides reached an agreement in principle about a new contract for the ski patrol, a deal that, if ratified, would end the possibility of a strike that could have impacted PCMR during what is expected to be a busy stretch of the ski season.
The Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association membership last weekend overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike should the negotiations collapse. Talks between the union and Vail Resorts, though, continued after the authorization vote. The membership of the union is poised to decide whether to ratify the agreement shortly.
The Thursday statement from the two sides reads: “The Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association (PCPSPA) and Vail Resorts are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement in principle, and are appreciative of the engagement and commitment on both sides. The parties are finalizing the details and next steps which will include a vote by union members in the coming days. We appreciate the patience and support of everyone as we work on moving forward together.”
Representatives from the union and PCMR did not immediately return phone messages on Thursday morning.
The statement did not provide details about the starting wage outlined in the agreement in principle. The starting wage has been the key point in the recent negotiations.
The union sees a starting wage of $15 an hour — the figure included in an earlier Vail Resorts proposal that patrollers rejected — as too low for the ski patrol, saying patrollers are trained to perform specialized duties like treating accident victims on the slopes, avalanche control and lift evacuations.
The Vail Resorts side countered that it had offered a proposal that is competitive with other mountain resorts, including wage increases, future increases that would be automatic and retroactive pay to cover hours that have been worked during the current ski season.