There is a problem with the ski industry, and it is the way ski areas pay their snow sports instructors. They only pay them for when they are interacting with a student. So what that boils down to is they require you to be at work at a certain time and if no one shows up they do not pay you, or at some mountains they pay you only 30 minutes for showing up to lineup. Then they expect you to be back an hour to two hours later for another lineup and will not pay for the time that you had to wait to see if there is another lesson. They specifically do this at Killington.
There is a new law in N.H. that says you have to get paid two hours for showing up to work, but what the mountains are doing, specifically the Dartmouth Skiway, is sprinkling that two hours of “work” over the whole day. This is unfair. This needs to change.
I asked the mountains I worked at to address this issue and they were sympathetic about it but the end result of it all was, they brushed me aside. I believe we can change this as a community and as instructors, but we need to do this as a whole.
So if you teach any type of snow sports and you get paid like this, bring it up to your manager and see if he will do the right thing and change this abusive system, or if you’re in the situation that can allow you to just quit, do so and send that message. If you’re a skiing or snowboarding enthusiast, please write to the mountains you go to and say you want your snow sports instructors paid fairly and compensated for their time. Things need to change and if we just stand by and do nothing, nothing will change.
I have taught snowboarding for four years at Killington and I have been teaching snowboarding for a total of eight years at other resorts.
Adam Sayre, White River Junction