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Clouding the facts

Duke Barlow, Breckenridge Ski Patrol

As a first-year member of the Breckenridge Ski Patrol, I do not pretend to be an expert on the negotiations between the patrol and our employer, Vail Resorts. However, one thing is clear: the struggle is certainly a complex one, both emotionally and economically charged.

Consequently, I submit that it is extremely important to keep accurate the details of this debate that are being discussed in a local publication. Rick Sramek (vice president of mountain operations at Breckenridge), as quoted in the April 2 Summit Daily New, said that “nobody in the industry gets what (the Breckenridge Ski Patrol) does: paid time off, COBRA bridging, sick pay, an equipment allowance.”

Without even comparing our benefits to those of others in the industry, this claim simply isn’t true. The patrol does not receive an equipment allowance of any kind. Further, as a first-year patroller, I am not eligible for sick pay or COBRA bridging until my second year of employment and cannot even begin to accrue hours toward paid time off until well through my second year. Clearly, the facts have been slanted.

Regardless of the individual significance of these specifics, the impact that any erroneous statements, on either side, can have only further skews the public’s perception of this delicate matter. As well, it further jeopardizes the trust between the involved parties.


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