Sr. Specialist, Labor Relations 
Job Posted: 18 January 2024
Company: DC Water and Sewer Authority
Closing Date: Until Filled
Location: Washington, DC


Link to application and full position listing



The Sr. Specialist, Labor Relations provides day-to-day contract administration and responds to labor inquiries from management and employees; establishes and maintains effective relationships with union leadership; negotiates and administers labor agreements; and confers with labor organizations on behalf of management.


  • Independently advises management on implementing policy changes, reviewing operational protocols, and engaging in impacts and effects bargaining as appropriate.
  • Functional lead over Specialists, Labor Relations in completing their work, including assisting with setting legal and labor strategy, responding to client labor matters, interpreting, and applying personnel practices, policies, and employment laws, and reviewing final work product.
  • Serve as labor relations subject matter expert handling all labor relations issues arising within the Authority, including developing strategy, conducting impacts and effects bargaining, responding to requests for information, handling labor cases from inception to completion, and responding to grievances.
  • Administers and interprets various labor agreements, including administering discipline and grievance procedures, and providing labor relations support during contract negotiations.
  • Oversee and assist with drafting employee corrective actions, performance improvement plans, and termination documents consistent with DC Water policies, practices, and culture.
  • Completes Authority-wide special labor relations projects and assignments impacting the organization as assigned, including developing and leading training for supervisors and managers. 
  • Serves as first chair negotiator during negotiations, including preparing negotiation strategy, evaluating proposals and counterproposals, and managing negotiation team.
  • Develops DC Water labor relations proposals and analyzes union proposals.
  • Analyzes union proposals and consults with senior managers to determine ramifications and impact on DC Water operations.
  • Independently represent DC Water during arbitration cases and at other third-party proceedings such as before the Public Employee Relations Board and manage cases from inception to conclusion.
  • Serve as lead investigator for complex and sensitive labor relations, EEO, and other internal complaints and provide thorough investigative reports and findings, and implement recommendations to minimize risk to Authority.
  • Performs other related duties and projects as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities: N/A

Key Working Relationships:  Interacts with employees and officials in the department and throughout the Authority, Office of Government and Legal Affairs; outside legal counsels; representatives from labor organizations; etc.


The minimum qualifications listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and ability necessary for an individual to perform each essential function satisfactorily. Reasonable amounts of training are provided.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Human Resources, Industrial Relations or Public Administration or related field and seven (7) years of experience associated with a union workforce and collective bargaining agreements; or equivalent combination of education and experience; J.D. preferred.
  • Solid knowledge of labor relations principles and practices, along with a solid knowledge of local, state, and federal laws and court decisions affecting labor relations.
  • Demonstrated ability and experience in conducting workplace investigations (i.e., disciplinary actions, EEO allegations, etc.).
  • Strong analytical, planning, and organizational skills.  Strong skills and tact to deal effectively with competing priorities.  Ability to analyze facts and reach logical conclusions. Ability to maintain effective working relationships with union officials and management team.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Use of personal computer and maintains a working knowledge of applicable software programs (i.e., Word, Excel, email, etc.).


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • General office conditions.