Senior Labor Relations Officer

Position Overview

The University of Kansas is seeking a Senior Employee & Labor Relations Officer who will direct and coordinate the University’s overall employee and labor relations activities, programs, and services. This position includes interpreting and drafting policy/collective bargaining agreements, developing strategic programs, preparing studies and recommendations pertaining to institutional employment and labor relations policy matters, providing guidance on corrective actions, separations, and grievances, and conducting investigations and drafting reports. This position will work with Human Resource professionals, managers, general counsel, employees, union stewards and other members of the community in labor relations and employee matters. This position may serve as the University’s principal liaison and negotiator with specific unions and serve on the negotiating team for others.

The ideal candidate will possess the ability to make sound decisions while maintaining the highest level of discretion and confidentiality, will be self-motivated in a fast-paced environment, and have the ability to work independently and with a team. This position is located at the Lawrence Campus but may have the opportunity for a flexible work schedule.

Job Description

Labor Relations & Communications – 90%
  1. Provides individual and/or group advice, guidance, professional support to managers, supervisors, employees, HR Partners, Human Resources, and others with respect to interpretation and application of employee relations and associated policies, practices, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements.
  2. Responds to and coordinates resolution of policy-related enquiries emanating from Human Resources, HR Partners, department constituencies, employees, or job applicants.
  3. Participates and/or provides leadership and consultation in interdepartmental employee-related investigations; assists in the review of legal cases as requested by general counsel.
  4. Provides assistance, advice and guidance to employees under the provisions of University policy; provides or coordinates provision of a range of work-related dispute resolution services as required, to include mediation, conciliation, negotiation, and/or formal arbitration.
  5. Identifies training needs, and plans, develops, and delivers formal training to University management and/or employees on a variety of labor relations, employee relations, and associated topics.
  6. Interprets and provides advice and guidance regarding the terms of the university's collective bargaining agreements to ensure University-wide administrative compliance.
  7. Directs and leads labor negotiations during the collective bargaining process for assigned unions; develops and implements collective bargaining parameters, guidelines, and procedures on behalf of the University with assigned groups.
  8. Participates on labor negotiation teams for the development of new unions or as assigned. Coordinates with appropriate office leaders (i.e., the Office of Faculty Affairs, the Office of the Provost, KU Chief of Police, VP of Operations, Human Resources and senior leaders within the team.)
  9. Manage local efforts at the direction of counsel related to employment litigation and government agency charges. Manage communication of potential employment litigation and/or risks to counsel.
  10. Manages all documentation for labor discussions, negotiations during collective bargaining including all postings required by the university are current and correct.
  11. Provides direct liaison and assistance as appropriate in the resolution of workplace disputes.
  12. Researches, identifies, and interprets current and emerging employee relations issues, trends, and opportunities; develops and implements responsive University-wide programs, initiatives, trainings and communications.
  13. Participates in grievance related activities as appropriate, following appropriate protocol as defined by policy and memorandum of agreement.
  14. Reviews and advises as appropriate on union covered employee suspensions, demotions, layoffs, and discharges to ensure compliance with federal and state laws, policies, procedures, and acceptable management practices.
  15. Actively engages with union stewards to build positive relationships.
  16. Manages needed communications and documentation with general counsel, Kansas Board of Regents, PERB, etc.
10% Other
  1. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.
  2. Engage in professional development activities to achieve personal and professional growth.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in human resource management, labor law, organizational behavior or other related field; and ten years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified, or a combination of education and relevant experience (An advanced degree in a related field may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis).
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience regarding employee and labor relations, the National Labor Relations Act, the National Labor Relations Board, and state and federal employment laws.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies.
  • Experience in formal and informal dispute resolution methodology, procedures, and techniques.
  • Experience managing collective bargaining agreements.
  • Experience conducting investigations.
  • Experience handling confidential and sensitive matters.
  • Strong computer skills in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Strong interpersonal, verbal, and written communications skills. Excellent presentation skills.
  • Project management skills in a multiple location/unit environment.
  • Investigative and problem-solving skills. Knowledge of administrative and adversarial hearing procedures and processes.
  • Knowledge of formal and informal dispute resolution methodology, procedures, and techniques.
  • Ability to analyze and evaluate complex issues and develop creative, responsive solutions.
  • Ability to develop and present educational programs and/or workshops.
  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of public sector labor relations principles and collective bargaining agreements.
  • Knowledge of current and emerging trends in public sector employee and labor relations policies and practices.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze, summarize, and effectively present data.

Additional Candidate Instructions

Please apply online with a complete resume and a letter of application stating how you meet the required qualifications.

First review of application will begin Tuesday, April 30 and will continue until a pool of qualified applicants has been obtained.

Contact Information to Applicants

Terri Osborn

Advertised Salary Range

starts at $90,000

Application Review Begins

Tuesday April 30, 2024

Anticipated Start Date

Monday May 20, 2024

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Posting Information

  • Posting ID:  27693BR
  • Department:  Human Resource
  • Primary Campus:  University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
  • Assignment:  Hybrid
  • Reg/Temp:  Regular
  • Employee Class:  U-Unclassified Professional Staff
  • Review Begins:  30-Apr-2024

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