Labor Relations Manager
Job Posted: 15 November 2022
Company: ArtCenter College of Design
Closing Date: Until Filled
Location: Pasadena, CA


Link to application and full position listing

ArtCenter College of Design is searching for an experienced Labor Relations Manager to join our team.

The salary range for this position: $100,000.00 - 125,000.00 per year

About ArtCenter

Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education and has had an international reputation for its rigorous, transdisciplinary curriculum, faculty of professionals, strong ties to industry, and commitment to socially responsible design. ArtCenter is a private nonprofit fully accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Every position at ArtCenter plays an important part in carrying out the values, goals, strategic vision, and mission of the College. This includes diversity, equity, inclusion, access, belonging (DEIAB) and culture.

Job Summary

Reporting to and working with the Vice President, Employee Experience (HR), the Labor Relations Manager at ArtCenter College of Design will lead and manage the College’s labor relations program. This includes, but is not limited to, developing policies, programs, practices and procedures and providing guidance for all labor relations matters.  As the College’s chief negotiator, the incumbent will guide all bargaining strategies with the understanding that positive experiences and engagements of our students, faculty and staff are a priority for the College, while maintaining the financial viability of the College and the high standard of education that it’s known for.

The incumbent will listen, learn and understand the needs of the College community and the guiding principles that drive our organizational culture to lead the day-to-day administration, execution and interpretation of collective bargaining agreements, including compliance and effective project management of union contract negotiations, effects bargaining, grievance procedures and dispute resolution.

This is a full-time, in-region position. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The position may require flexibility to work a staggered, remote or alternate schedule to meet the demands of the work, which could include weekends or evenings. The position is eligible for flexible scheduling and can be performed remotely, hybrid in-region or may be required as a condition of employment.

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities

Contract Bargaining Administration - 45%

  • Serves as chief negotiator for the College, including new contracts, effects bargaining, Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs), successor agreements, side agreements, settlement agreements and meet and confers
  • Works directly with the union’s chief negotiator(s) for bargaining schedules and processes
  • Collaborates with the union’s chief negotiator(s) to identify issues and possible responses associated with bargaining - both in advance of negotiations for strategic planning and during negotiations as new issues arise
  • Meets with College administrators to define bargaining goals and principles, understand cultural impacts, and develop approaches and strategies for negotiations
  • Holds listening sessions to collect, aggregate and analyze data from various departments and operational units to assess current business practices and the cost impact of potential bargaining initiatives
  • Uses information learned in information sessions and data gathering to draft proposals for negotiations; receives and assesses feedback; tracks all revisions; records tentative agreements
  • Leads contract negotiations team members during regularly scheduled team meetings from strategies to table negotiations; consults with subject matter experts on various bargaining topics to assess impacts during bargaining
  • Hears and investigates all union claims of potential unfair labor practice charges or claims that require effects bargaining or a meet and confer; gathers information from relevant departments and operational units to assess the merits of the claims under the collective bargaining agreement; prepares responses with clear and concise recitation of the facts, applicable law or contract provisions, appropriate analysis, and recommendations for courses of action
  • Organizes and documents all steps of the bargaining process up to and including contract ratification or impasse protocols

Labor Administration – 45%

  • With support from the Employee-Labor Relations Coordinator timely responds to information requests for bargaining, hearings, mediations, arbitrations or other matters that require the College to respond to said requests; assesses what information is required under the law and within the union contract; as required, participates in said proceedings
  • Leads the union-College administrators committee meetings to facilitate proactive and positive labor relations with the union; prepares objectives and agendas
  • As a subject matter expert on labor relations, counsels and guides leadership, department heads, managers and supervisors on delicate and sensitive matters pertaining to union issues
  • With a strong command and knowledge of the collective bargaining agreement, provides ongoing interpretation, including holding learning sessions with academic and operational leadership for compliance with and administration of the collective bargaining agreement
  • In partnership with Marketing and Communications (as necessary), communicates ongoing messaging about bargaining status and other labor relations issues
  • As the primary liaison for the union, establishes and cultivates professional, productive, collaborative and collegial relationships with internal and external union representatives
  • Oversees the grievance process to ensure compliance and facilitates any solutions before they lead to mediation or arbitration
  • Complies with federal and state labor and employment laws, including the NLRB and the NLRA for all bargaining activities; consults with legal as needed
  • Provides bargaining updates to the Board of Trustees, as requested

Other Duties as Assigned – 10%

  • Leads and/or serves on collegewide committees
  • Research trends, best practices and other data that will inform bargaining and labor relations practices and strategies
  • Maintains bargaining records and files
  • Ongoing learning on federal and state labor and employment laws

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Labor Relations, Business Administration, or other related field from an accredited college or university
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience working in labor relations, business affairs, or legal affairs department
  • Proven analytical abilities and project management skills
  • A tactful and proven record of accomplishment of successful contract negotiations., with excellent interpersonal skills, professional demeanor, flexibility, and the ability to effectively collaborate while maintaining tact and diplomacy
  • Demonstrated skills necessary to bargain in good faith and represent the organization's interests effectively, including in-depth wage and benefits negotiations
  • Demonstrated ability to handle difficult or volatile situations and challenging conversations productively
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail, proven by the ability to drive projects to successful completion without supervision
  • Superior communication skills, both written and verbal, including grammar proficiency and persuasive writing skills
  • Reliability in handling confidential information and exercising appropriate judgment and strong business acumen in executing tasks
  • Ability and willingness to problem solve, prioritize, negotiate and juggle changing deadlines
  • Advanced knowledge of applicable state and federal laws and court decisions regarding employment-related matters
  • Proficiency in Excel, Word, Outlook, and Zoom in Windows.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Juris Doctor in employment law or another related field
  • Higher education labor relations

Diversity Statement
ArtCenter is fully committed to fostering a culture that values diversity, equity, inclusion, access and belonging not only in vision but in practice. Our path forward is predicated on our belief that multiple points of view, life experiences, ethnicities, cultures and belief systems are essential to academic and creative excellence. We strive to learn more about difference while respecting the rich diversity in our world, attending to important questions about racial injustice and decolonizing our curriculum. Our campus environment must be vigilant in supporting the full participation of students, faculty, and staff of every race, color, ethnicity, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, socioeconomic status and political viewpoint.

Equal Opportunity Employer
ArtCenter is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate against its employees or applicants on the basis of race, color, religious creed, sex, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including HIV and AIDS), genetic characteristic or information, pregnancy, marital status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, transgender identity, gender expression, protective hairstyles, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal law. Equal employment opportunity is extended to all persons in all aspects of the employer-employee relationship, including without limitation, recruitment, hiring, upgrading, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, leave of absence, transfer, discipline, layoff, recall and termination. This commitment applies to all persons involved in the operations of ArtCenter and prohibits unlawful discrimination by any employee of ArtCenter. Applicants who wish to request an accommodation for a disability may contact the Office of Employee Experience and Engagement at (626) 396-2270.

Land Acknowledgment:
ArtCenter College of Design occupies the region of the ancestral and traditional land of the Hahamog'na Tongva people, the stewards of the San Gabriel Valley area around present-day Pasadena.

ArtCenter Employees have a Mandatory Duty to Report 
All employees who know or have reason to know of allegations or acts that violate ArtCenter’s Title IX Policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking shall promptly inform the Director, Title IX Compliance and Programs or designee, or the Associate Dean of Students or designee. Faculty, who have a mandatory duty to report, are required to disclose all information including the names of the parties, even where the person has requested their name remain confidential.

Pursuant to the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), all employees who know of or have reason to suspect child abuse or neglect involving alleged victims under age 18 shall promptly inform local law enforcement or the county welfare department.

Vaccination Requirement
ArtCenter is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all members of our community. Guided by the latest information from the CDC, the California Department of Public Health and the Pasadena Public Health Department, all staff, students and faculty must provide proof of vaccination. Annual vaccines and/or booster vaccines will be required based on CDC or FDA guidance. Those who cannot get vaccinated for medical or religious reasons will need to provide appropriate documentation. ArtCenter will then engage in an interactive process, on an individual basis, to determine if there is a reasonable accommodation that can be provided. Our complete policy can be found here.