I think a union of trainers would help trainers who work for large fitness chains. I have seen gyms slash wages by 50% or more for trainers while keeping management salaries untouched. I have also seen gyms fight against unions. I believe it would benefit the maintenance staff at these same facilities who often deal with abuse. What do you think about a trainer/fitness union?
Great question Philip!
I think the underlying words in your question is “large fitness chains”. We all know how large corporations operate and focus on, the almighty dollar. We know this before we interview for a position (whatever that position may be) however, that should not stop us from creatively negotiating a salary/wage/percentage based on our experience and getting it in writing. From that point we now know what to expect.
Market conditions, economy, bad management and club ownership can change, thus hindering our income and possibly our job. I experienced a large private owned club sitiuation two years ago when our flat rate independent contractor personal training fees rose from $300 per month to $1200 per month without any internal changes within the club ie: new equipment, new retentive members, advertising etc.
This situation would’nt have changed even if we were unionized…we would simply have been replaced or the club would cease all independent contractors and switch to in house trainers as employees with percentages. Needless to say..all twelve of us seeked employment elsewhere and the club switched to in house trainers/employees, unfortunately reducing the clubs personal training income fees from $172,800 per year to zero. We are still scratching our heads today from their business decision…
Being a future gym owner, I would not want my employees and Personal Trainers to be unionized. I simply would have Personal Trainers as independent contractors. This give them more freedom to co-market themselves to their full potential, budget their expenses and set their schedule and treat it like a small business.
Wish you the Best!