Located in picturesque Kingston Ontario, Queen’s University is seeking a Director, Faculty Relations, to join our team. Reporting to the Associate Vice-Principal (Faculty Relations), the incumbent must have experience developing bargaining strategies, and proven success as a chief negotiator of collective agreements, to be successful in this role.
This position is a great opportunity for a labour lawyer or a human resources (HR) professional with a relevant post-graduate degree, who is looking for work-life balance, but not at the expense of having challenging and interesting work. With the possibility of a fifteen minute commute to an internationally recognized institution like Queen’s University, coupled with the natural beauty of the campus and city, this opportunity is certainly unique.
If this description sounds like you, we welcome your application.
• Act as key liaison between Queen’s University and the union currently representing three bargaining units: Teaching Assistants/ Teaching Fellows; and Post-Doctoral Fellows; and Research Assistants). In that capacity, maintains effective working relationships with union leaders, contributes to the University’s overall labour relations strategy and ensures that these relationships are aligned with that strategy.
• Leads collective bargaining, including serving as chief spokesperson, in negotiations with the aforementioned union and assists the Associate Vice-Principal in negotiations with the faculty union. Speaks to issues at the table, conducts research to enable the University to address issues or to support others who will address the issue, and prepares for collective bargaining as a key contributor to the setting of bargaining mandate and strategy for the University.
• Liaise with union representatives on matters ranging from specific issues and grievances, to committee work and special projects.
• Provide expert advice in response to queries/issues raised by senior academic administrators, staffing officers, faculty, staff and union representatives and investigate or oversee the investigation of the background to the query/issue. Provide information and/or possible solutions, and build consensus and resolution in a manner consistent with the relevant collective agreement or policy. Work with faculties and senior administration on longer term and/or more significant faculty relations/employment-related issues.
• Manage the process with respect to grievances filed within the incumbent’s client group; liaise with unions in the processing of the grievance, investigate or oversee the investigation of the circumstances of the grievance, prepare relevant materials and correspondence, negotiate settlements, and provide support and instruction to external legal counsel on matters that proceed to arbitration.
• Lead Joint Labour Management Committees with PSAC Local 901 and lead or participate in various joint committees with QUFA.
• Develop and deliver educational programming to academic administrators, staffing officers and other University personnel in regard to the administration of collective agreements, and compliance with workplace policies and applicable laws. Act on the AVP’s behalf in representing Faculty Relations. This may include providing advice and recommendations on special projects or ad hoc activities. As a leader of the Faculty Relations team, may modify operational priorities/projects to respond to unplanned demands that arise.
• Determines the extent of support required from other members of the Faculty Relations team to ensure projects and workflow are effectively managed with an optimal use of resources, and provides coaching and support to others to ensure completion.
• Conduct special projects including developing collective agreement interpretations or policies/procedures/protocols; preparing documents, reports, presentations, positions papers etc.;
• Act as University lead in legal proceedings (human rights matters, grievance arbitrations, etc.) pertaining to academic staff matters within the incumbent’s client group and liaise/direct external counsel as required.
• Participate on staffing committees, as requested, and make effective recommendations regarding employee selection.
• Provide work direction, and technical/functional guidance to staff. Assign work, oversee its completion and monitor workflow.
• Review assignments, assess performance, provide feedback and guidance, and address performance issues as required.
• University degree in law or relevant post-graduate degree with a focus on labour relations or human resources management.
• Minimum of eight years of senior labour relations experience, with a proven track record of success, ideally within a large, complex organization.
• Experience as a chief spokesperson in collective bargaining and in developing bargaining strategies
• Experience in labour relations in the broader public sector, and faculty relations within a university environment in particular, would be an asset.
• Consideration may be given to an equivalent combination of relevant education and experience.
• 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 can 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. 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 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 in order to develop more robust plans and solutions.
• Strong orientation to building relationships and delivering quality service to clients, with the initiative and tenacity to work through complex issues to the point of resolution.
• Ability to move from high level conceptualization to detailed and thorough implementation with the ability to engage in both independent and consultative decision making so as to move issues forward and build required consensus around a resolution.
• As chief spokesperson, or when assisting the Associate Vice-Principal in negotiations, determines appropriate strategies, including tactics to be employed at the bargaining table, in order to negotiate collective agreements to mandate.
• Determines appropriate implementation of University labour relations strategy in the context of relationship with unions
• Determines appropriate direction, advice and support for clients in order to achieve positive academic labour relations and effective management of collective agreements.
• In consultation with Faculty Relations team and clients, determines appropriate interpretation and administration of collective agreements, and application of workplace policies and applicable laws and advises clients
• Makes decisions on the appropriate resolution of issues such as grievances and other disputes. Gives appropriate consideration to the benefit of settlement relative to the potential costs and precedential nature of the settlement.
• In conjunction with Associate Vice-Principal (Faculty Relations), and other senior University administrators, determines University labour relations and collective bargaining strategy and provides recommendations on approach.
• Determines extent of support required from other members of the Faculty Relations team and directs and oversees the work associated with the delivery of that support.
• Determines content and structure of draft reports, proposals and agreements.
• Identifies information, communication and training required for administrators and the employment supervisors of Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, Research Assistants and Post-Doctoral Fellows.
• Identifies requirement, and makes recommendations to the Associate Vice-Principal (Faculty Relations), regarding the design and delivery of workshops/seminars for academic administrators, staffing officers and other University personnel in respect of the QUFA and PSAC collective agreements.
• Evaluates, as may be required, job candidates and makes effective recommendations on suitable hires.
• Determines priorities and makes decisions about staff utilization and the assignment of work to achieve optimal efficiencies and productivity.
• Assesses employees’ training needs and makes recommendations for internal or external training to attain proficiency.
• Monitors and assesses the output and quality of employees’ work, recommends need for formal training or development plans to management and identifies staff performance issues.