Labor Relations Director
Job Posted: 9 November 2017
Company: City of Seattle
Closing Date: Until filled
Location: Seattle, WA

Position company listing:

Position Description

The City of Seattle is seeking a collaborative and strategic leader to lead the City's Labor Relations strategy and the Labor Relations team within the Seattle Department of Human Resources in a large, multi-departmental and complex public-sector environment. The Labor Relations (LR) Director ensures that all City labor activities are performed to achieve equity, excellence and ensure strong collaboration with the City's Labor partners. In partnership with the Director of the Seattle Department of Human Resources (SDHR), the LR Director works directly with the Mayor's Office, City Council and other City stakeholders to shape and execute the City's labor strategies and policy. In collaboration with Labor partners and City leaders the LR Director achieves measurable results in the development and implementation of long and short term strategic labor objectives.

The LR Director reports to the SDHR Director and is a member of the SDHR Executive Team, and citywide Human Resources Leadership Team (HRLT). The LR Director is responsible for identifying, advising and coordinating with these teams and department Directors on all city-wide issues with labor implications as well as on integrated human resources and labor strategies more broadly, including Workforce Equity and the transition to a consolidated citywide One HR to support a more equitable work experience for City employees.

Job Responsibilities
  • The LR Director fosters collaborative relationships that support city-wide labor relations strategy with the goal of achieving the City's commitment to excellence in government and equitable treatment of all city employees. Consistent with the City's values of workforce equity and its labor philosophy of collaboration and partnership, the LR Director is accountable for:
  • Helping develop, advising on and implementing labor relation policies, practices and programs aligned with the City's strategic objectives.
  • Ensuring that all engagements with our Labor partners during bargaining are consistent with the City's labor philosophy and parameters as established by the City's Labor Relations Policy Committee (LRPC).
  • Proactively supporting the unique business needs of all City departments, assuring individual department leaders and their staff have the support to do their best work; facilitating open and transparent communications with department staff and our Labor partners; and identifying and eliminating bottlenecks in labor relation service delivery.
  • Optimizing the City's workforce through negotiated wages and benefits that are fair and equitable.
  • Assist the SDHR Director to plan, organize, direct, supervise, manage and evaluate the City's labor relations programs, functions and activities.
  • Support the implementation of the Human Resources Consolidation Strategic Plan. Work with various city Department to increase alignment and communications between Departmental Labor Relations groups.
  • Administrative and supervisory oversight of the Labor Relations Division, consisting of SDHR Labor Negotiations and analysts, developing and delivering Labor Relations services for all departments across the city – connecting day-to-day labor relations service delivery with citywide labor relations strategies and overall operations. Grow skills and expertise within the department. Manage staff to deliver high quality services and support.
  • Overseeing the SDHR Labor Relations Division, consisting of SDHR Labor Negotiators and analysts, in developing and delivering labor relations services for all departments across the City, connecting day-to-day labor relations service delivery with citywide labor relations strategies and overall operations, objectives and goals.
  • Fully supporting the City's Workforce Equity and Race and Social Justice objectives and ensuring these considerations are embedded into all LR strategies, programs and activities.

A successful candidate will have demonstrated significant technical knowledge and expertise in labor relations as well as human resources operational processes and functions with the ability to communicate at all levels tactfully and effectively. At the center of their practice is a commitment to listening, creating spaces for diverse perspectives and the pursuit of inclusive and just outcomes. Their professional career reflects a commitment to assuring the alignment of labor strategy to business objectives and excellence and equity in service delivery. They must have experience managing labor relations or comparable function in a high profile and complex environment. This leader should be skilled in fostering and developing mutually respectful relationships, achieves consensus among competing interests and fosters a collaborative approach to problem solving. Specifically the work requires:
  • Expert level knowledge of employment and labor law and practice within the public sector.
  • Experience leading the development and planning of labor relations strategies, administration of labor agreements, negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and resolution of contract disputes within a complex public-sector organization.
  • Experience in working within a complex, multi-stakeholder environment with success in aligning multiple departments, functions or business.
  • Proven leadership and problem-solving skills, resolving and negotiating solutions to critical and sensitive issues.
  • Proven experience leading, supervising and building strong and effective teams.
  • Ability to maintain and effectively deal with highly confidential matters and exercise sound judgment and decision making.
  • Excellent skills in writing clear, concise, analytical, legally correct, accurate and persuasive briefs; appeals, motions, settlement agreements, and management positions.
  • Excellent interaction and leadership skills in working effectively and sensitively with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and perspectives to build mutual respect, fairness, and equity.
  • Experience and gravitas engaging with internal and external partners at all organizational and political levels.
  • Demonstrated collaboration skills and commitment.
In addition, all potential Human Resources team members are evaluated for the following department values:
  • Respect – We demonstrate regard for ourselves and others; we are open minded, considerate, fully present, engaged and responsive
  • Excellence – We perform and serve to the highest standards; we attain outstanding results through innovation, effort and personal commitment
  • Integrity – We are worthy of trust because we do the right thing; we are ethical, principled and transparent and behave consistent with our values
  • Equity – We honor differences and seek diverse backgrounds and perspectives; we are inclusive and pursue just outcomes
  • Accountability – We take responsibility and follow through with intention; we take ownership of the process and results
  • Adaptability – We are flexible and resilient; we respond readily to change and new conditions, seek solutions and do our work with optimism
  • Integration – We are a team; we work holistically and strategically, incorporate others and are mindful of impact
Due to the fiduciary nature of the work, job offers are contingent on review of criminal history as well as verification of information provided by the applicant as part of the application process. In compliance with Seattle's Fair Chance Employment Ordinance, SMC 14.17 applicants will be provided an opportunity to explain or correct background information.

Please note this job advertisement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Additional Information

Please submit the following with your online application:
  • A cover letter in which you clearly describe how your knowledge, skills, and abilities prepare you for the job responsibilities and qualifications outlined in the job announcement. Please discuss each element completely and succinctly. Include in this letter, an example of how you identified and addressed a significant equity issue.
  • A resume of your educational and professional work experience.
Please submit your application, resume and cover letter to

If you have questions, please contact Pam Inch at

"Who May Apply: This position is open to all candidates that meet the minimum qualifications. The Seattle Human Resources Department values diverse perspectives and life experiences. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The Department encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans and those with diverse life experiences".

The City of Seattle offers a comprehensive benefits package including vacation, holiday and sick leave as well as medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance for employees and their dependents.

More information about employee benefits is available on the City's website at: