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Labor Relations Manager – WSF

By November 22, 2022

Washington State Department of Transportation

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is the steward of an integrated, multimodal transportation system that helps to ensure people and goods move safely and efficiently throughout the state. In addition to building, maintaining, and operating the state highway system, WSDOT operates the largest ferry system in the nation, manages the world’s longest floating bridge, and recently completed the world’s widest tunneling project.

The Opportunity
WSDOT is looking for a seasoned HR professional to manage the Labor Relations program at Washington State Ferries (WSF). The WSF system is the largest ferry system in the United States and an essential component of Washington’s transportation network. More than 1,800 employees in the Puget Sound region collaborate to safely and effectively transport nearly 25 million passengers annually!

The WSF business relies heavily on this Labor Relations Manager position, which provides the entire organization with strategic direction and oversight regarding Ferries’ labor relations. In addition, the WSF Labor Relations Manager acts as the company’s representative in all interactions with the eleven (11) Ferries unions, participating in and coordinating PERC hearings, negotiations, mediations, arbitrations, and other forms of labor dispute resolution. The successful individual selected for this role will also assist with labor relations/employee relations, recruitment, classification and compensation, risk mitigation, and proactive guidance regarding labor relations. This position also provides consultative services and proactive guidance regarding a broad range of sensitive human resource functions.
What to Expect
Among the varied range of responsibilities held within this role, the Labor Relations Manager will:
Administer and interpret labor relations contracts and work with management/directors and unions to resolve issues of mutual concern during the term of the agreement.
Resolve employee grievances via the contracts and grievance procedures, including arbitration and mediation.
Develop and present training programs on labor relations and employment-related matters.
Interface proactively and build relationships with union officials to anticipate potential labor relations issues.
Execute proactive labor/management relations strategies and actions to ensure positive employee relations and enable business priority and achievement.
Represent the department in labor negotiations and contract administration; provides day-to-day and strategic labor relations consultation.
Evaluate union proposals to determine how they align with managements business priorities and strategic planning efforts.
Develop counterproposals to support business needs and implement the department’s bargaining strategy.
Coordinate with other departments, including the Office of Financial Management, the State Human Resources and Labor Relations Section (OFM/SHR/LRS), and the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), to ensure that the Ferries Division is effectively represented in all labor relations-related activities and litigation.
Act as the point of contact for coordinating activities related to interest arbitration before and during collective bargaining.

To be considered for this opportunity, the following are required:
Five (5) years of professional HR experience performing senior-level consulting on workplace issues in a heavily unionized environment; a degree in human resources or a related field may substitute for two years of the required experience. (Senior-level experience consists of representing parties in negotiations for labor agreements; disciplinary and grievance hearings above the first line of supervision; administrative review hearings; arbitrations; or similar activities.)
Expertise in labor contract development and analysis, labor agreement negotiation, contract administration, handling grievances, and arbitration procedures.
Analyzing laws or contract terms, gathering documentation and statistical data, and conducting research to assist clients in creating contract proposals that mitigate disparate impact for protected groups.
Experience working effectively and fairly with representatives of management and labor.
Understanding and applying government and state rules influencing the workforce and making sound decisions based on fact.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the capacity to interact with decision-makers at all levels of the organization through fact-based analysis.
A focus on customer service and the capacity to serve multiple customers and levels in the organizations.
Working with cross-functional teams to develop strategies and influence the outcome of business decisions.
Investigating complex issues and devising inventive solutions to these problems.
Working with and maintaining confidential client and staff information.

It is preferred that qualified candidates also have the following:
Experience working as a labor specialist at the senior level for Washington State; or experience working in public sector employment, an organization governed by US Coastguard regulations or international maritime law as a senior-level human resource consultant, personnel officer, or labor specialist.
Certification from SHRM or HRCI (SH RM-SCP or CP, SPHR or PHR); or a certification similar to Certified Labor Relations Professional (CLRP); or completing a Labor Relations Certification Program from a credentialing body or educational institution that is accredited.

*To review the full Position Description, don’t hesitate to contact the recruiter in the Contact Us section of this posting.

Important Notes 
This recruitment may also be used to fill additional positions per business needs.
The official duty station and/or frequency of telework for this position will be determined based on candidate preference and overall business needs.
This position may be performed statewide but, may be required to travel to Seattle or Olympia for collective bargaining.
The salary listed for this position includes an additional 5% premium for workers with a permanent duty station in King County.
Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 357-16-197 mandates that all employees who work for executive cabinet agencies (which includes the Department of Transportation) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Compliance with this mandate is a condition of employment with WSDOT. An exemption may be granted for religious or medical purposes; however, accommodations will be subject to approval based on the essential functions required of the position.
WSDOT does not use the E-Verify system. For more information, please visit www.uscis.gov

Work-Life Balance – We are committed to ensuring that our staff experience the reward of public service while sustaining a routine that suits each individual’s lifestyle.
Paid Leave – In addition to 12 paid holidays, full-time employees may earn up to 25 paid vacation days per year!
Tuition Assistance – Permanent employees have several options for assistance with education expenses, including tuition reimbursement programs, government discounts at participating colleges throughout the state, and federal student loan forgiveness eligibility.
Plan For Your Future – WSDOT offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes various healthcare options. Employees also have their choice of state retirement programs and much more. Go to State Benefits for more information.

Check out this video to learn more: Why WSDOT?

How to Apply
Applications for this recruitment will be accepted electronically. Your relevant experience may be evaluated to determine your salary. Therefore, the “Work Experience” portion of the application must be completed in as much detail as possible.
To be considered for this opportunity, please include the following with your online application:
An attached Resume outlines (in reverse chronological order) your experience to date.
An attached Cover Letter that further explains your qualifications and indicates why you believe you are a viable candidate for this role.
Contact details for a minimum of three (3) individuals who can attest to your work performance, technical skills, and job-related competencies. NOTE: This information may be entered in the “References” section of the online application; it does not require an additional attachment.

Please click the “APPLY” button to proceed. Note that you will be prompted to sign in or create an account. This step is required to apply for this opportunity.

WSDOT is an equal-opportunity employer. We value creating an environment where all employees feel respected, included, and empowered to bring unique ideas to the agency. Our diversity and inclusion efforts include embracing different cultures, backgrounds, and viewpoints while fostering growth and advancement in the workplace. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam-era veterans, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons with disabilities needing assistance in the application process or needing this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the listed Recruiter.

Contact us
For inquiries about this posting, you may contact the assigned Recruiter, Robyn Lovely, at LovelyR@wsdot.wa.gov. Please be sure to reference 22DOT-HQ-0W370 in the subject line.

To apply for this job email your details to HQHR@wsdot.wa.gov

Job Posting Link: Apply for Job