Labor & Employment Relations Manager
Job Posted: 28 March 2024
Company: City of Berkeley
Closing Date: 28 April 2024
Location: Berkeley, CA, USA


Link to application and full position listing


Position Description:

Labor & Employee Relations Manager
Human Resources Department – Employee Relations Division
City of Berkeley, California
Annual Salary: $136,041 - $181,866 DOE/DOQ, PLUS 5% Differential

Be a part of a dynamic team, diverse and innovative organization, and engaged community in the heart of the Bay Area at the City of Berkeley, California! The City is seeking a Labor & Employee Relations Manager to oversee a team of 12 staff members, leading an employer of choice brand. This role encompasses a broad spectrum of responsibilities, including employee relations, labor negotiations, and labor relations. The Manager will work closely with the Director of Human Resources to ensure that all HR functions are delegated appropriately, with a focus on post-hire activities, benefits, occupational safety, EEO, and labor. This position also involves engaging outside consultants for labor negotiations and contract renegotiations. The City fosters an environment where employees are encouraged to introduce new ways of working and to embrace change. The Manager will champion this collaborative approach and encourage communication, flexibility, and an open exchange of ideas. The ideal candidate has substantive experience in employee and labor relations, coupled with strong leadership abilities. In addition to technical competencies, such as municipal public sector experience, the ideal candidate should demonstrate a strategic approach to problem-solving and a commitment to fostering an inclusive and equitable workplace. The Manager will take ownership of projects and demonstrate attention to detail in their execution. They will play a crucial role in developing and implementing initiatives, such as wellness programs, deferred compensation awareness campaigns, and holistic workplace equity policies.

Make a meaningful impact within a progressive organization – apply today! View the full recruitment brochure here

The Job

The Labor & Employee Relations Manager will play a crucial role in fostering positive relationships between the City and its workforce. This is an exciting growth opportunity, as they will manage a significant and growing team, drive positive culture, champion important initiatives for workplace wellness, and assess technology needs across the Department. The Manager will oversee employee onboarding activities and champion workforce policies and procedures and continuously foster a culture of creativity and constant improvement. They will contribute to the City's goal of maintaining a diverse, inclusive, and high-performing workforce. They will also lead labor negotiations and contract renegotiations with the City's labor organizations and engage with outside consultants to assist with labor negotiations. This leader will often collaborate with internal stakeholders and external consultants and provide guidance to staff on contract-related matters, as well as addressing any labor or employee relations challenges that may arise.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate is a consistent and detail-oriented professional who values process improvement and seeks new ways to upgrade the City’s employee experience. While acting as a decisive leader, they will consider diverse viewpoints and options before moving initiatives forward. This Manager will be a clear communicator with the ability to build relationships with labor groups, staff, and stakeholders. The Manager will demonstrate a strategic approach to problem-solving and be able to lead with tact and foresight. They will possess the ability to lead a dedicated and growing team, fostering a culture of innovation, collaboration, and accountability. They will be adept at articulating the City's priorities and values, advocating for the interests of both employees and management, and navigating potentially contentious situations with diplomacy and integrity. Additionally, they will demonstrate a proactive approach to promoting fairness and equality in all aspects of employee relations, from recruitment and hiring to benefits administration and conflict resolution. By championing initiatives that support the well-being and advancement of all employees, they will contribute to creating a positive and inclusive work environment where every individual feels empowered to succeed.

Employment Standards:

  • Education: Equivalent to graduation from a four-year college with major course work in business or public administration, industrial relations, or a closely related field.
  • Experience: Four (4) years of professional human resources experience which has included extensive responsibility for planning and implementing labor and/or employee relations programs.
  • Substitutions: Additional professional-level experience as outlined above may be substituted for the college education on a year-for-year basis.
  • California Driver’s License and a satisfactory driving record.


  • Supervisory experience.
  • Experience in a public agency setting.

Compensation and Benefits:

The annual salary is $136,041 - $181,866 DOE/DOQ, plus a 5% pay differential and a generous benefits package.

How to Apply:

For first consideration, apply by April 26th at:



Round one interviews will be virtual and held on May 22nd. Finalists will move forward to in-person interviews on May 31st. Candidates invited to interview must be available for both dates.

Please contact your recruiter, Terri, with any questions:

email: [email protected]
direct: 805.450.8296
toll free: 866-929-WBCP (9227)