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Has your ski school a retirement benefit program?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
In another thread about certification I have a picture up to show what the badges look like and it also shows my retirement benefit card.

Instructors and patrol members who have put 20 continuous years in before retiring get a Gold Card allowing them free skiing FOR LIFE at both of our areas, attend the bashes at which we mostly can't pay for our own drinks or food and generally being accepted in all phases as if we were still actively teaching.

Both Ann and I taught over 20 years and have the benefit.

I was just wondering if this is more common or fairly rare.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 06, 2002 02:57 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Ott Gangl ]</font>
post #2 of 23
I have 20+ years in at one ski area, but I wouldn't go back there unless the state makes them replace the antique (and terribly underserviced) lifts. There have been so many different owner/operator outfits running the place for whatever revenue it produced over the years without putting any more back in than the absolute minimum that the property has been sliced, diced and sucked dry with none of the hundreds of employes likely to get anything ever, even if it was just a free ride.

Hey, Ott, I like the square Central Division pin, even if it is USSA. The shield with blue C was the Central Division Full Pin? Was that before/after USSA? I have the PSIA-C triangular blue full pin. My national PSIA shield looks like your Central shield without the blue C.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Kneale, I'm sorry you don't like the area anymore after putting in over 20 years of service, luckily ours is getting better, though more crowded on weekends and evenings.

When I made my assiciate and full certification, it was the USSA which did the certifying in the USA and the newly created PSIA club/fraternity by Willy Schaeffler and cohorts could only be joined by full certified instructors, costing $5 which included two engraved pins.

Those were generic national pins, not identifying the region where I worked. My certification number is 325.

My associate USSA pin was round, white with the name engraved, the full is the rectangular one in the above picture.

After PSIA got/took away the certifiaction rights from USSA they made those triangular pins you mentioned and later the shields with the division letter in it, red background for associate, blue background for full.

In the shot below, in the top row is my round USSA assicate pin and the generic national PSIA pin. In the bottom row is Ann's triangular associate pin and her associate shield.

I did get the latest pin, the gold one for Level III but I lost it and since I don't wear those pins on my jackets anymore, I just never replaced it.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 06, 2002 09:02 PM: Message edited 3 times, by Ott Gangl ]</font>
post #4 of 23
They are beauties Ott...my favorite pins are my RMSIA and SRMSIA pins...the circular ones with the skis through the middle, name engraved. My CSIA (canuck) is nice too.
People have lost so many pins in ski school yards, I would think a good cloisinette (sp) manufacturer could make some bucks replacating them. A metal detector in the yard could uncover a history of pins.
post #5 of 23
I'd LOVE to ski at that area, I just feel uncomfortable about riding the lifts or being responsible for inviting someone else to ride them.

So the shield with the silver stripes was a USSA associate pin?

That's similar to what I could order from the national office when I made full certification in the early 1970's. I have the red and blue associate and full triangular pins from Central. The only gold-filled pins I have from national are the 20 Year pin and the National Academy pin. I had three copies of the silver-filled national pin, but I gave two to a couple Swiss guys I taught with for a season because they promised to send me a Swiss pin. Never got that, of course. I found out afterward I couldn't replace the national pin because they no longer offered it :~(. So I only wear the ISIA and PSIA lapel pins. The ISIA pin is available only to full certified members.

I started my teaching career when I was in my 30's. My Central Division number from when I made associate is in the 1200's, my national number from later the same season when I made full is in the 12000's.
post #6 of 23
I would imagine that the Don'tletthedoorhityouintheassonyourwayout plan is far more common.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Kneale, the white round pin is the USSA associate pin and the shield on the left top is the first PSIA pin issued.

Miles, we bitch a lot about crowds and such but then realize how good we have it compared to other areas. I skied today from 9:30 until 2:00 and I could ski into any of the chairs without waiting, about evry third chair went up empty.

But 20 years ago we already made $13 an hour and our families got season passes even if there were a dozen kids in it. The same still goes for patrol too, except it starts the second year to encourage a return rate.

The instructors and patrol are still treated with respect by the owners and managers who realize that they provide a real service, especially the patrol which is all volunteer.

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
>>>People have lost so many pins in ski school yards,<<<

Yeah, Robin, first they had vertical clasps, then horizontal ones in the middle which made the pins droop from it's own weight. The most creative fastener I saw by an instructor was a hole drilled in the middle and pop-riveting the pin with a backup washer inside the jacket [img]smile.gif[/img]

post #9 of 23
I thought the standard retirement package for resort employees consists of a fistful of powerball tickets.

Bogus Basin has free skiing for anyone 70 or better. Of course, we still have active instructors and patrollers who are older than that..... And I'm darn glad we do...
post #10 of 23
OK, Ott. Thanks. The PSIA pin you got, the shield in the upper left of the image with silver filling and your name inscribed, was for full certification, right?
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
No, Kneale, it was a membership badge of a club called PSIA which I could join because I was full certified by USSA. At the time of that badge, PSIA did not certify skiers.

It just states that I am a member in an club called the Professional Ski Instructors of America, it says nothing about being a certified ski instructor, and BTW, neither do the present PSIA badges.

The only badge I have that states that I am a certified instructor is the white, rectangular USSA badge in the opening post.

You may see that the Associate round badge only states that I am an "Associate SKI INSTRUCTOR", nothing about being certified.

It was also a much lower rate of passing than it is now, though maybe not much more difficult if at all. Out of 35 associates taking the workshop/exam for full, only three besides me passed. One was Kenny Schmidt, the other one was Hans Dorn, he is the Hans that Wigs of Snowmass refers to sometimes, and one of the smoothest skiers I've ever known, Ron Brown, the director at Alpine in Michigan and later the head of certification in the Central Div. The nicest guy you ever want to know, but he sadly died at a comparatively young age.

post #12 of 23
Ott, and to all,

I would hope that any Pro who put in more than 20 years would get more than just a ride for free for the rest of there life.

Our Pros here in the Ski Schools of Aspen have a 401k plan and medical along with a free pass after 20 years of service to the company. The 401k is available to Pros after the first year, and the medical of coarse, is available right away.

There was a post about the miserable state of affairs that exist in most of our ski schools in this country, and the world for that matter, about how poor the pay is for their Pros. I have to say that we are well paid, for ski pros anyway, and one can make a fair living teaching skiing in Aspen. That is one of the reason why we attract top Pros from all over the world to come and work for our company. Although, it is not easy getting on this ski school because we don't hire many at the start of the season. And if one wants to be full time here, that Pro must be full cert.

I am aware that in the real world of ski teaching, that things aren't good for making much of a living. I feel lucky to have on the most part, been able to teach skiing for my entire career of over twenty five years at Snowmass. Also to have one of the finest training staff in the world to work with and learn from.

I find it hard to agree with SCSA on most things. But on this one, I have to say he's right. For those who feel like their ski area and management is taking advantage of them, stand up and do something about it! It wasn't to long ago that we did just that here in Aspen. And the management listened. ( Actually, they had no choice or we would have gone union which they wanted no part of. [img]smile.gif[/img] )

Again, it's a shame that a group of people who love what they do, and make other peoples vacation and sport a joy, must scrape to make ends meet. Or can't do what they love full time because the pay sucks, and they can't pay the bills. I hope that someday that will all change for all of us. Happy Trails!-----Wigs :
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
>>>I would hope that any Pro who put in more than 20 years would get more than just a ride for free for the rest of there life<<<

Wigs, keep on hoping. As I asked in the title of this thread, who has ANY benefits at all? Unlike you and Bob Barnes and others in destination resorts, most pros here are and have always been independent contractors, even if they taught full time.

They get paid by the service provided, i.e. the actuall teaching hours, and not many perks.

post #14 of 23
I knew Ron Brown, Ott. Participated in a bunch of Central activities with him over the years. Always struck me as friendly and helpful.
post #15 of 23
I agree with you, Robin--those old RMSIA (Rocky Mountain Ski Instructor Association) pins were beauties. Circular pins with the Rocky Mountains cut out in the background, and a pair of skis across the center with your name engraved. I had one once, for about a week. My Associate (equivalent now to Level 2 Certification) pin, that I got in 1981, fell off my jacket somewhere on Breckenridge's lower Silverthorne run, shortly after I got it.

You probably know that we've resurrected those old RMSIA pins in the Rocky Mountain Division of PSIA for the Education Staff and the various accreditations--Senior Accreditation, Children Accreditation, and Trainer Accreditation. They're smaller than the originals, with no engraving, and come in various colors, indicating the specific accreditation each signifies. I lost a new one just yesterday....

I'll post a picture of the one I still have when I get a chance.

I used to go out with a Swiss instructor certified in the Graubunden (sp?) region. Her pin was of much higher quality than ours, and had two separate clasp pins in the back, so it wouldn't fall off unless BOTH pins failed. Why didn't WE think of that?

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 08, 2002 11:49 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Bob Barnes/Colorado ]</font>
post #16 of 23
For what it's worth, I know at least one instructor who has worked at Breckenridge for almost 30 years. After 25 years of service, they gave him a gold Rolex watch. That doesn't happen often, and I don't think he can retire on what he'd get by pawning it off, but it IS a real Rolex.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #17 of 23
Yep, Bob, got a coupla those little bitty retro pins too!
There was a period about 5 years ago when the welding on the backs were breaking the pin thingee off. Then National produced the temporary abomination of the non-cloisenette, 30 year pin that looked like the level I pin. There was almost a AARP uprising! The 40 year pin looks nice.
Pins carry their controversy...like the National Academy pin which is gold, and is awarded to attendees even if they are Level II.
Those who think the medal is only worth $6.50, don't know the REAL cost of PSIA jewelery!
Lots of trivia...like the ones that said Instructor instead of Instructors. And of course the famous first Snowboarding one with the sillouette of the rider emblazoned across the shield.
I lost my CSIA III pin the day I got it....probably in a bar. I keep the originals now in the old sock drawer!
I do like the look of the 40 year, and I think the RM's campaign to "wear the pin!" is a great move...should go National.
My most cherished pin? The one a good friend left me in his will...Polish, about 1948 or so.
post #18 of 23
Here's the current Ed. Staff pin from PSIA-RM, which brings back the old RMSIA design. I like it!

But what does it say about the profession when a thread about "retirement benefits" deteriorates to a discussion of little pins?

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was just thinking that. It seems not many folks are willing or able to discuss their financial and benefit situations.

Beautiful pin, Bob, but talk about STRAIGHT skis

post #20 of 23
You gotta be able to carve with THOSE to get on the ed staff, Ott.
post #21 of 23
My thoughts exactly, Ott, as I looked again at that pin. They hardly even look like SKIS anymore!

And what's up with that narrow stance?

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yeah, but you've got to love those mountains!

Looks, like October snow [img]smile.gif[/img]

Kneale, those are the 2x4s we've been talking about. Carving? No problem, those babies will carve the meanest traverse you've ever seen. :

post #23 of 23
Vail SS sounds pretty much like Aspen. 401k is available after one year and all other benefits available first year. In fact I would say it is the most professional SS setup I have worked for. There is even some paid training available and a great bunch of very experienced trainers.

In Oz the 401k plan or superannuation is national law for all workers with the company and the employee contributing to the fund. The wages and working conditions are generally lousy though, makes us all see the bright side of life … or is that the beer?

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