Labor Relations Business Partner
Job Posted: 3 December 2021
Company: American Water
Closing Date: Until Filled
Location: Camden, NJ

 

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Diversity of backgrounds, ideas, thoughts, and experiences is vital to our culture and the way we do business.  Creating an environment where differences are embraced and where every person feels engaged and included makes us safer, stronger, and more successful.

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company.  The company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states.  American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to help make sure we keep their lives flowing.  For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

On September 9, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14042. This order and the associated federal safety protocols for federal contractors that were issued on September 24, 2021, require covered contractors who work with the federal government to ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or approved for a health or religious accommodation by December 8, 2021. This includes all Camden employees. As a covered federal contractor, American Water must adhere to these legal requirements. If you are made a conditional job offer, you will be required to provide proof of full vaccination or apply and be approved for a health or religious accommodation prior to your start date.

Primary Role

To optimize business performance by focusing on labor relations in the designated area, ensuring compliance to State and Federal laws, regulatory agencies, company policies, and collective bargaining agreements. Serve as facilitator of labor relations activities including the role of the chief spokesperson (first chair) in labor contract negotiations as part of the management negotiations team. Responsible for all labor relations functions including collective bargaining agreement administration, interpretation of labor contracts, application of contractual rights and responsibilities, research, analysis, strategy development, metrics, relationship-building and negotiation in designated areas of responsibility. The ideal candidate may work from any of our AW footprint locations.

Key Accountabilities

  • As part of the labor relations team, provides consultation and support to the business as the primary contact for all labor relations matters in designated areas of responsibility focusing on Collective Bargaining Agreement administration, interpretation, application, and negotiation.
  • Support internal organizational stakeholders in labor relations matters including prepare for labor negotiations, contract administration, contract language interpretation, application, and grievance procedures as well as participate in arbitrations, litigations, grievance meetings and hearings. Serve as the chief spokesperson (first chair) in labor contract negotiations as part of the management negotiations team.
  • Ensure compliance with various state and federal laws and/or agencies throughout diverse regions; guiding business managers to proactively identify and navigate risks.       
  • Manage the collective bargaining process; develop contract language that meets organizational objectives, and assess the impact of scenarios for designated areas of responsibility.
  • Participate in and facilitate all processes of contract and mid-contract negotiations for all contracts in designated areas of responsibility.       

Key Accountabilities Continued

  • Provide consistent labor relations information and advice to local management and other HR professionals as required.
  • Develop and support the development of positive, constructive Union/Management relationships.
  • Assist with Corporate Governance activities as directed. Provide expert advice and guidance in support of business development projects (due diligence; labor/employee relations; inputs on bids; integration, data collection, document archiving, metrics development etc.) including Union Awareness requirements (if needed).
  • Work within AW Labor Relations Strategies to implement practices, policies and programs that cultivate positive relationships in the Union/Non-Union and Management Workforce. Support and develop training programs and other development initiatives which drive and facilitate our success. Contribute to effective communication by listening and providing constructive feedback; supporting the creation of an open and honest work environment; cascading and sharing knowledge and information relevant to other members of the team and colleagues across the business

Knowledge/Skills

  • Ability to effectively provide expertise with Labor Relations and HR issues at all levels of the organization.
  • Strong management skills which include planning, organization, team building, strategic focus, influencing, and people development.
  • Proven track record of supporting change programs and partnering with business managers.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and with all levels within and outside the organization.
  • Extensive knowledge of all Human Resources areas including employment law, labor laws, EEO, ERISA, and other compliance mandates

Experience/Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources or related field preferred; Masters Degree Desirable
  • Minimum of eight years Labor and Employment relations experience with a union workforce and labor contract negotiations or four years Labor and Employment relations experience with a union workforce and labor contract negotiations that includes at least 1 year experience at American Water in a union workforce environment. The following demonstration of experience is preferred:
    • Experience with arbitrations and mediations.
    • Demonstrated experience as the chief spokesperson (first chair) in labor contract negotiations.
    • Demonstrated record of building and fostering positive labor-management relationships
    • Experience with all varieties of HR issues with a tactical, hands-on approach.

Travel Requirements

  • >50%

Certifications & Licenses

  • HR Certification preferred

Work Environment

  • Modern day professional office environment

Competencies

Champions safety
Cultivates innovation
Collaborates
Customer obsessed
Drives Results
Nimble learning