Employee and Labor Relations Manager
Job Posted: 12 April 2022
Company: County of Sonoma
Closing Date: Until Filled
Location: Santa Rosa, CA


Link to applicationhttps://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/sonoma/jobs/3215352/employee-and-labor-relations-manager?keywords=employee%20and%20labor%20&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs

Position Information

Bring your employee and labor relations experience to the County of Sonoma and become the next Employee and Labor Relations Manager.

Salary up to $164,903/year) plus a yearly cash allowance of approximately $7,200 paid biweekly*

What We Offer 

Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're working to better our communities. You can also look forward to a competitive compensation package* and work culture including:

  • Flexible work schedule and teleworking options
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • Annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance up to $1,700 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • The County pays 100% premium contribution for the majority of employee only and employee + family health plan options
  • Up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment
  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range
  • Deferred compensation with eligibility for a matching program
  • County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Defined retirement benefit plan, fully integrated with Social Security

The County of Sonoma Human Resources Department is seeking a seasoned, solution-oriented employee and labor relations professional to direct the County's Employee and Labor Relations Program. Labor relations includes: representing the County in labor negotiations; advising departments on labor relations matters as required in accordance with the Myers Milias Brown Act; overseeing and advising departments on grievances; and administering and interpreting the memorandum of understandings, the County’s Salary Resolution, and the County’s Employee Relations Policy. The employee relations aspect includes: advising departments on performance management and employee relations issues including working collaboratively with other areas of Human Resources and Risk Management; guiding departments on various policies and related employment law; and policy development.
The Employee and Labor Relations Manager is a unique management level position that requires frequent contact with the County Administrator, Board of Supervisors, Department Heads, employee organization representatives, internal and outside labor counsel, and others.  The manager is responsible for advising the County’s highest level officials on labor and employee relations strategies to maintain positive relations for County employees and with the County's labor representatives.  The position reports to the Human Resources Director and supervises a team of four professional level analysts and one technical support position.   The position frequently collaborates with many County departments and within the County's central Human Resources Department.
The ideal Employee and Labor Relations Manager is astute and a strategic thinker, with strong analytic abilities and excellent interpersonal and communications skills.  The ability to exercise good judgment in analyzing complex problems and in forming important recommendations with far reaching consequences is imperative for this position.
A seasoned human resources professional who possess the following competencies and characteristics will be considered highly competitive for this position:

  • Experience that encompasses the main aspects of employee relations such as labor relations, collective bargaining, grievances, employee relations and performance management
  • Strong working knowledge of employment laws affecting the public sector
  • Forward thinking, with the ability to understand technical issues and offer sound, objective decision making
  • The ability to manage and flex multiple priorities and handle a fast-paced work environment
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to foresee impacts and consequences
  • A solution-oriented, pragmatic and common-sense approach to resolving issues
  • Excellent supervision and mentorship skills
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, and the ability to facilitate meetings and sometimes difficult conversations, and be persuasive without being overbearing
  • A sense of humor and an appreciation for working collaboratively in a collegial, team-oriented department

An immediate priority will be to plan for upcoming labor negotiations in Fall 2022.  

The County has, on average, approximately 3,900 regular employees and approximately 80% of the workforce is represented by one of its 11 bargaining units.  

The Human Resources Department has 65 positions and is responsible for managing and administering a variety of programs and services through its' two divisions, Human Resources and Risk Management. The Human Resource Services Division is responsible for employee and labor relations, recruitment, job classification and compensation, workforce development, equal employment, employee recognition and special commissions, employee benefit programs, and the human resources information system. The Risk Management/Administration Division is responsible for County liability and insurance, workers compensation administration, leaves and disability management, and occupational health and safety.
Under the guidance and leadership of the Human Resources Director, the Department's Mission is to provide comprehensive human resources and risk management services, leadership, and guidance that supports organizational effectiveness for an outstanding workforce. The department values collaboration, integrity, customer service, creativity, transparency, and work-life balance.

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can found in the Salary Resolution and our Employee Benefits directory.

This recruitment is being conducted to fill one Employee & Labor Relations Manager position in the Human Resources Department. This employment list may also be used to fill future vacancies as they occur during the active status of the list.  


Minimum Qualifications

Any combination of education, experience, and training that would provide knowledge and abilities listed herein. Normally that would include a Bachelor's Degree in industrial relations, human resources, organizational psychology, public administration, business administration, psychology or a closely related field, or a Juris Doctorate; and four years of professional level labor relations experience. Public sector labor relations experience and some supervisory experience are also highly desirable.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Thorough knowledge of: employer-employee/labor relations laws, precedents, regulations, and practices; labor negotiation principles and practices; the principles and practices of handling grievances, unfair practice charges, and employee-employer disputes; principles and administration of programs that support positive employee-employer relations; principle and practices of employee performance management.
Considerable knowledge of: accepted principles and practices of human resources management; and research methodology, report writing, and basic statistics.
Working knowledge of: principles of organization and management applicable to local governments.
Ability to: develop and maintain effective working relationships with County officials and management, labor representatives, and departmental colleagues; negotiate mutually satisfactory agreements; facilitate the resolution of disputes; understand, interpret and apply appropriate provisions of applicable laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, memoranda of understanding, and operating procedures; accurately perceive and judge formal and informal influences, analyze information, assess risks, take appropriate courses of action, and solve problems; plan, organize, and coordinate research and statistical work; plan, train, supervise, and evaluate the work of subordinates; listen and communicate effectively, prepare clear and concise written reports, and make oral presentations; be resilient and lead through challenging situations.

Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying

  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application, if applicable. 
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • Not following these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process, or may result in disqualification.

Please visit Getting a Job with the County of Sonoma to review more detailed information about the application, examination, and departmental hiring processes. 

Applicant’s submitted materials will be assessed in the following manner: 

An Application & Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal Examination (weight 100%). Each application and supplemental questionnaire will be thoroughly evaluated for satisfaction of minimum qualifications and relevance of educational coursework, training, experience, knowledge, and abilities that relate to this position. Candidates possessing the most appropriate job-related qualifications will be placed on an employment list and referred to the department for selection interviews.

The Supplemental Questionnaire must be completed.  Responses to supplemental questions will be used to determine if minimum qualifications have been met. Please provide specific and detailed responses of a reasonable length to allow for a thorough assessment of your qualifications. Responses which state "See Resume" or "See Application" may be considered insufficient. 
A background investigation is required prior to employment. Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling such an investigation. Failure to sign prescribed forms will result in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy. Reference information will not be made available to applicants.

Additional requirements, such as successful completion of a physical exam, drug screen, etc., may apply, depending on the duties and responsibilities of the position. If you receive a conditional job offer for the position, the requirements upon which the offer is contingent will be outlined in the conditional job letter. You may also review the Job Classification Screening Schedule to determine the requirements for this position.

Applications are accepted online at www.yourpath2sonomacounty.org. Paper applications may be submitted by person, fax (707-565-3770), email, or through the mail.

The filling period for this recruitment is open until filled. Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply by May 6, 2022, for first round consideration. Tentative interview dates for first round qualified candidates are the week of May 16, 2022.

Continuous recruitments may close without notice at any time that a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. Applications received after the recruitment closes will not be accepted.

The County of Sonoma values diversity and is dedicated to creating a workplace environment that provides individuals with a sense of belonging. We are committed to having a diverse workforce that is representative of the communities we serve. The County is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer where all aspects of employment are based on merit, competence, performance, and business need.