PSIA needs to adopt and enforce a "Ski Instructors Bill of Rights", reduce your dues and the size of the National level bureaucracy, stop trying to make skiing and ski teaching so complicated and reduce the subjectivity of the certification process.
This petition had 14 supporters
The titanic that is PSIA hit the iceberg 20+ years ago and is sinking VERY slowly and will continue to do so unless there is dramatic change. The certification process is WAAAy to subjective. You re-invent the wheel every year or so to try to validate and justify your existence in spite of the fact that skiing and ski teaching are not nearly as complicated as you make it out to be. Your demographic is skewing older and older as more and more younger instructors realize that PSIA holds little if any meaningful value for them and they either refuse to join or quit paying their dues.
Your dues are WAAAY too high for what you provide. There is a dysfunctional relationship between Ski Area Management and PSIA such that it appears that PSIA is scared to death to rock the boat and advocate for ...or even dare to mention the need for, meaningful real life benefits for instructors, which, btw, is another reason the younger instructors more and more want nothing to do with PSIA. You've failed miserably at making PSIA and its certification levels even KNOWN, much less meaningful to the public, thereby making attaining Level 2 or 3 little more than a very expensive personal milestone and accomplishment. And speaking of dysfunctional relationships....your Divisions and "National" have substantial differences in what National should be doing and "National" has become, in the opinion of many... little more than a bloated bureaucracy.
Ski instructors generally like the educational component of PSIA and many have benefited greatly from the variety of clinics available. But we would hate to see PSIA continue down the path it is on. PSIA must evolve to be relevant. Those that sign this petition agree that some form of the following 3 point plan is a starting point to saving PSIA as it circles the drain of skiing relevance.
1. Cut “Nationals” budget by 50% and return the savings in the form of reduction in dues for the membership. Let the Executive committee, made up of representatives from the Divisions, determine the National offices now 50% smaller budget and mandate.
2. Reduce the complexity and expense of the certification process. Remove some of the subjectivity by asking candidate’s to ski a variety of NASTAR type courses (slalom, GS) and a bump course in order to pass the general skiing ability portion of the exam with the following example stipulations.....to become PSIA Level 1 you need to attain a Silver medal…Level 2- attain a Gold medal…and…Level 3 attain a Platinum medal. Aggressively seek other opportunities to reduce subjectivity and examiner bias. (Note : considerations for age and gender are already built into the NASTAR program)
3. PSIA should endorse some version of the following “Ski Instructors Bill of Rights” and require that ski areas adopt and accept these basic standards of fair treatment before being allowed to be affiliated with PSIA and display the PSIA logo etc.
Ski Instructor Bill of Rights
A. All ski instructors will be paid either a minimal hourly wage for every hour they are expected to be on the mountain and available to work in addition to and separate from their regular teaching hourly wage (similar to restaurant waitresses) …
B. All instructors will be paid 2 hours of “show-up” pay at their regular hourly wage every day they are expected to be on the mountain regardless of if they teach or not.
2) If an instructor joins PSIA and attends and passes a Registration clinic they will be given a $1.00/hour raise above their base wage. If an instructor attends and passes a Level 2 exam they will be given a $2.00/hour raise above their current base wage. If an instructor attends and passes a Level 3 exam they will be given a $3.00/hour raise above their current base wage.
3) Instructors will be paid $1.00/hour on top of their base wage for every additional student above 3 students in a group lesson. For example, if an instructors base wage is $10.00/hour and he has 5 students in an hour long lesson he/she would make $12.00 for that hour lesson.
4) Instructors will be paid their regular hourly rate for attendance at any required in-house training or meetings.
5) Instructors will be allowed to take a ½ break between the hours of 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM.
6) Instructors will be provided seasonally appropriate coats and/or jackets and a secure area to change and store their equipment.
7) Private lessons will be assigned based on seniority, PSIA certification level and the public’s specific requests.
8) Those instructors that qualify as full-time, based on how many hours per week they are required to be at the mountain, will be provided health insurance.
Ski Instructors need to make their voices heard and PSIA is the most logical group to work for these changes and benefits for instructors. If enough instructors sign, PSIA will find it harder and harder to ignore our real, legitimate and meaningful needs.
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