Jilly

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This came today from the CSIA:

Montreal (April 17, 2019) —Whistler Blackcomb (Canada’s largest Snow School) has just announced the following:

Effective immediately, the tuition for all core CSIA Courses will be covered by the company, upon successful completion. Investing in the ongoing education of our employees helps Whistler Blackcomb attract and retain top instructors. “The demand is certainly there for more instructors as our resort and School continue to grow and develop,” said Russ Wood, Whistler Blackcomb’s Senior Director, Snow and Bike School. Wood added: “Our business is booming and the market is expecting a superior product. This means we have an ever-increasing responsibility to deliver high-quality lessons.” Providing financial support to instructors who want to further develop their skills is a ‘no brainer’ and only benefits the industry as a whole.

By offering this educational benefit to our staff, we are not only driving recruitment and retaining top pros, but ultimately increasing the quality of our product making the end users, our guests, the ultimate winners. Hopefully this initiative is further proof of our commitment to creating an experience of a lifetime for both our guests and staff.

Perry Schmunk, the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance, Managing Director states: “Whistler Blackcomb has always been a pioneer in the industry, and it is great to see their continued support for the training of their staff. There is no surprise that highly qualified instructors keep people skiing. After all, helping make someone better at something they already love is a sure way to create a lifelong and loyal participant.”

Whistler Blackcomb currently employees over 1500 ski and snowboard professionals.
 

HardDaysNight

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Russ Wood is worth listening to. The podcast he did with Tom Gilles is one of the most interesting and insightful analyses I’ve ever heard. Specifically his comments on how edge angles are controlled and the real role of leg (femur) rotation in high end skiing. Google it and pay attention!
 
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MattFromCanada

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Key word is “among successful completion” meaning that this is really just going to benefit people getting their L2 certifications. The armies of instructors bashing their heads against the wall for the 3 and 4 will still be out of pocket for the 5 attempts prior to passing...

But still a good start for the industry. Hopefully it won’t lead to the bigger hills poaching experienced instructors from hills that can’t afford this sort of thing!
 

Kneale Brownson

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Vail Resorts has been compensating instructors for the cost of certification examinations, when the instructor passes, for a long time. No compensation for taking and failing, however, and the compensation generally comes in the season after the exam. Success does mean an immediate increase in pay rates, however.
 

abcd

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"Vail resorts" and "helping instructors" are very unlikely to co-exist in one sentence.
We are talking a company that charges 800+ for a one-day private and pays the instructor $15/ per hour. (a bit more than 10%),. The company that goes to confused customers and asks "please give a tip, instructors need help", while forgetting to mention that instructors are paid as non-qualified labor.Vail as enough money to pay the CEO 5MM+ per year but not enough to pay their instructors minimum wage.
As far as I am concerned, not a single dollar out of my pocket will go to Veil until the instructors are unionized at every resort Veil owns.
There is an easy and proven way to stimulate people to pursue certification - increased pay for higher levels. Sponsoring certification instead of raising wages is just a cheap way to get more skilled workforce (and hence happier customers) without increasing the pay.. No, Vail is not "helping", they are just looking for ways to pay less.
 
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Jilly

Jilly

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There is an easy and proven way to stimulate people to pursue certification - increased pay for higher levels. Sponsoring certification instead of raising wages is just a cheap way to get more skilled workforce (and hence happier customers) without increasing the pay.. No, Vail is not "helping", they are just looking for ways to pay less.
Beg to differ on this. Tremblant, like most of Quebec, is unionized. The instructor staff are paid based on certification level and length of time at Tremblant. More time, more money. So if you decide to get your next level of certification you may not be making the same $$. That's because you've been a L2 for X years. Now you're a L3, and back down to the bottom with 0 years. Some instructors will go for the next level, obtain it, but not report it to snow school. Not a fair practice at all. And maybe that's just this union.

I'm not a union person, they were needed at one time, but not now with all the Labour laws that in place. I've worked for 3 different snow school, all on a part time basis. Tremblant was the only unionized one.
 

abcd

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I'm not a union person, they were needed at one time, but not now with all the Labour laws that in place. I've worked for 3 different snow school, all on a part time basis. Tremblant was the only unionized one.
That's a fair point. I've heard at a different ski school at Quebec that union makes it harder to pay more money to higher level instructurs. I don't think it's right, but I do think that in case of Vail, it's the only way. It's mostly a US company, so most of their resorts will not have a chance to be subject to decent labor laws.
Unions have their own downsides, but in this case corporate greed exceeds all acceptable limits.
An alternative would be to allow independent ski schools to operate at all ski resorts. That could do the trick too, I would hope.
 

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