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Summit Search Group is pleased to partner with Queen’s University in their search for a Senior Director, Employee/Labour Relations
About Our Client:
Queen’s has a long history of scholarship, discovery, and innovation that has shaped collective knowledge and helped address some of the world’s most pressing concerns. Home to more than 25,000 students, the university offers a comprehensive research-intensive environment with prominent strengths in physics, cancer research, geoengineering, data analytics, surveillance studies, art conservation, and mental health research. Students, staff, and faculty bring together diverse perspectives and a wealth of experiences that enrich the campus, empowering the university community toward shared success.
Queen’s invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is strongly committed to employment equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and encourages applications from Black, racialized/visible minorities, Indigenous/Aboriginal people, women, persons with disabilities, and 2SLGBTQ+ persons. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.
Relocation: Relocation assistance available.
About Kingston, ON:
Situated on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and the Anishinabek, Kingston is approximately a two-hour drive from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario and the Rideau Canal. Kingston is a stunning, historic city that consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Canada.
Kingston’s 120,000 community-minded citizens enjoy an outstanding quality-of-life enhanced by superb intellectual, recreational and creative opportunities, and supported by excellent health care facilities and municipal services, programs and facilities.
Reporting to the Associate Vice-Principal, Human Resources (AVPHR), the Senior Director, Employee/Labour Relations (Senior Director) is a key member of the Human Resources (HR) senior leadership team.
The Senior Director works collaboratively with all the members of the HR senior leadership team to develop, support and advance HR departmental strategic priorities and ensures the HR department, and the Employee/Labour Relations unit within the department, meet client service needs.
The Senior Director is the chief negotiator for staff collective agreements and is responsible for strategic labour relations decision making. The incumbent is responsible for overseeing the administration of non-academic staff collective agreements and for managing the administration of policies, procedures and best practices in connection with employee relations and employment-related matters pertaining to all non-academic staff. The Senior Director manages a team that provides employee and labour relations support, advice and training to other HR professionals within the HR department or embedded in university faculties and departments. The team also works directly with senior managers across the university on complex employee and labour relations matters.
Committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and indigeneity, the Senior Director is responsible for undertaking duties and responsibilities in a manner that builds respectful relationships with unions, associations and staff, and with all client groups, including faculty and staff mangers and administrators. The Senior Director requires collaborative decision-making skills, initiative, creative problem-solving skills, excellent communication skills, as well as negotiation and dispute resolution skills to support clients and the HR Client Service Team.
- Working with the AVP, HR and other members of the HR senior leadership team, support the strategic direction of HR at Queen’s.
- Work closely with the other members of the HR senior leadership in support of the client service model to deliver high quality efficient services to clients including managers and employees.
- Collaborates with and supports colleagues in the HR senior leadership team as they lead key initiatives and priorities.
- Act as a key liaison between Queen’s University and the unions currently representing staff bargaining units. In that capacity, maintain effective working relationships with union leaders, contribute to the university’s overall labour relations strategy and ensure that these relationships are aligned with that strategy.
- Manage, mentor and support a team of employee/labour relations (ELR) professionals. Determine the extent of support required for members of the ELR Team to ensure projects and workflow are effectively managed, with an optimal use of resources. Coach and support ELR team members to reach professional and departmental goals.
- Provide expert advice to university administrators, managers and HR staff on short and long- term labour and management relations issues. Provide information and recommend solutions. Build consensus to achieve a resolution in a manner consistent with the relevant collective agreement or policy.
- Manage the process to deal with filed grievances.
- Serve as Chief Negotiator in collective bargaining. Speak to issues raised at the bargaining table, conduct research to enable the university to address issues, and prepare for collective bargaining as a key contributor to the setting of the bargaining mandate and strategy for the university.
- Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with colleagues in the Faculty Relations office who are responsible for the Faculty Collective Agreements.
- Lead Joint Labour Management Committees and lead or participate in various joint committees with staff unions, senior administrators and management.
- Play a leadership role to ensure the application of policies are effectively managed.
- Oversee investigations and reviews related to complaints/reports received.
- Lead and manage special projects for the AVPHR that arise that may have cross-functional unit impacts.
- Conduct special projects including developing collective agreement interpretations or policies/procedures/protocols, preparing documents, reports, presentations, compliance requirements, positions papers etc.
- Develop and deliver educational programming to senior administrators, managers, and other university personnel with respect to labour relations, the administration of the collective agreements and compliance with workplace policies and applicable laws.
- Act as university lead in proceedings (human rights matters, grievance arbitrations, etc.) pertaining to staff matters within the identified client group or union group and liaise/direct external counsel as required.
- Plan, prioritize and manage the work of employees within the department, providing strategic and tactical advice, guidance and coaching. Identify the need for staff resources, participates on staffing committees, and makes effective recommendations regarding employee selection.
- Manage performance of ELR staff by establishing performance standards, review and evaluate performance and conduct formal performance reviews on an ongoing basis.
- Assess staff training and development needs and ensure ELR staff receive training required to improve and sustain successful performance.
- University degree in Business, Law, Human Resources or related field.
- A member in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario, considered an asset.
- Minimum of ten years of senior labour relations experience, with a proven track record of success in a multi-bargaining unit setting.
- A minimum of 8 – 10 years of experience managing a team of individuals carrying out a diverse range of activities and promoting inclusion in the workplace.
- Demonstrated experience as a chief spokesperson in collective bargaining and in developing bargaining strategies.
- Experience in labour relations in the broader public sector, and employee relations particularly within an university environment, would be an asset.
- Satisfactory criminal record check is required.
- Consideration may be given to an equivalent combination of relevant education and experience.
- Strong collaborative leadership skills.
- Orientation to building relationships by fostering a climate of inclusion, openness and trust. Deliver quality service to diverse clients, with the initiative to work through complex issues to the point of resolution.
- Ability to foster a culture of cooperation and encourage positive team dynamics. Enable team members to grow and succeed through consistent constructive feedback, and encouragement.
- Sets clear, meaningful, challenging and attainable goals and expectations that are linked to the mission, vision, values and desired HR culture and assists the members of the ERL Team to achieve them.
- Demonstrable knowledge of collective agreement administration, labour relations, grievance practices and procedures, and an in-depth knowledge of labour and employment legislation.
- Able to effectively interpret and analyze collective agreements, legislation and jurisprudence, and prepare collective agreement language, grievance responses, etc.
- Excellent communication (oral and written), conflict resolution and negotiation skills, including the ability to listen, articulate and advocate effectively, and problem solve independently and creatively. Recognize diversity of abilities and adapt content, tone, medium and style to audience to be inclusive. Must have the capacity to understand, assimilate and reconcile complex situations and divergent perspectives, often in situations in which conflict is present. A track record of effective collaborative leadership and participation in difficult conversations is essential.
- Ability to negotiate, present information, and express ideas with confidence.
- Excellent organizational, research and administrative skills with the ability to manage multiple demands and execute on competing priorities.
- Actively seeks and integrates diverse thoughts and perspectives to develop more robust plans and solutions. Address diversity and inclusivity issues and supports others.
- Strong change management skills, including the ability to plan, organize and direct members of the ELR Team to achieve objectives.
- Ability to move from high level conceptualization to detailed and thorough implementation with the ability to engage in both independent and consultative decision making to move issues forward and build required consensus around a resolution.
- Working collaboratively, determine the best structure and means to deliver high level client service to other units within HR, Managers and employees.
- As chief negotiator, determine appropriate strategies, including tactics to be employed at the bargaining table, to negotiate collective agreements to mandate.
- Determine appropriate implementation of university labour relations strategy in the context of relationship with unions.
- Determine appropriate direction, advice and support for clients in order to achieve positive labour relations and effective management of collective agreements.
- Determine appropriate interpretation and administration of collective agreements, and application of workplace policies and applicable laws and advises clients.
- Make decisions on the appropriate resolution of issues such as grievances and other disputes. Consider the benefit of settlement relative to the potential costs and precedential nature of the settlement.
- Determines university labour relations and collective bargaining strategy and provide recommendations on approach.
- Determine the extent of support required from other members of the ELR Team and direct and oversees the work associated with the delivery of that support.
- Determine content and structure of draft reports, proposals and agreements.
- Working with the Client Service Team and others, identify information, communication and training required for HR staff and university managers.
- Identify, design and deliver workshops/seminars for managers and other university personnel in respect of applicable collective agreements and employee relations.
- Evaluate job candidates and make effective recommendations on suitable hires for the department.
- Make decisions and/or effective recommendations regarding transfers and promotions.
- Evaluate employee performance and decide on appropriate training or coaching to address lack of proficiency in carrying out responsibilities, or remedial action for staff disciplinary situations.
- Make effective recommendations on level of discipline up to discharge and probationary termination for staff within the department.
To apply, please send a resume to Allison Dwyer at [email protected]com.
The University will provide support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant’s accessibility needs. If you require accommodations during the interview process, please contact Allison Dwyer at [email protected].