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Labor Negotiator

City of Seattle

Position Description

The mission of the City of Seattle Human Resources Department is to provide strategic and operational human resources services that advance Workforce Equity to meet the City's workforce and organizational needs. Our values reflect our best thinking of how we want to act and interact with customers, consumers, stakeholders and each other: respect, excellence, integrity, equity, adaptability, integration and accountability.

As a Labor Negotiator, you will provide technical and professional services to policy makers and City department managers, to advance collaborative and effective labor relations. This enhances the City's delivery of quality public services.

You will report directly to the Labor Relations Director and have extensive contact with all levels of City management, including elected City Officials, representatives from other governmental, regulatory, and administrative agencies, labor union representatives, and their legal counsel. You will be tasked with providing advice on handling difficult employee problems, representing the City in labor-management problem resolution, and resolving complex problems of a legal nature which may be politically sensitive and have substantial cost implications for the City.


Job Responsibilities

  • Here's more of what you'll be doing:
  • Performing specialized, professional labor relations activities of a highly sensitive and confidential nature.
  • Formulating strategy and coordinating resources to present the City's interest in labor negotiations, mediation, arbitration, grievances and grievance arbitration, unfair labor practices, and state and federal agency proceedings.
  • Serving as chief spokesperson and negotiating labor contracts with unions that represent City employees.
  • Interpreting collective bargaining agreements and negotiating mid-term changes.Investigating grievances and recommending grievance responses and settlements to contract disputes and disciplinary actions.
  • Writing or reviewing discipline letters, grievance responses, last chance agreements, Letters of Agreement, and Memoranda of Understanding
  • Researching, developing, and presenting training materials for supervisors, managers, City Officials, and Human Resources on labor relations issues.
  • Engaging with a lens of Race and Social Justice and Workforce Equity. 


You will be most prepared for this role if you have:

  • 4 years of experience or more as a chief spokesperson in contract negotiations, administration, and grievance resolution.Interest arbitration experience.
  • Knowledge and/or experience in employment law.
  • Experience working in a large public organization.
  • Knowledge of Washington State Regulations governing labor relations.
  • Experience working collaboratively with a diverse workforce. 
  • Understanding of arbitration practice and principles is desired.
  • Experience with binding and/or interest arbitration preparation and advocacy is desired.  



In addition to the ability to complete the tasks mentioned above, you will need to possess the below required qualifications (or a combination of education, training or experience which provides an equivalent background required to perform the work of the class). 

  • Bachelor's Degree in Labor Relations, Public or Business Administration, Economics, or a related field.
  • 3 years of professional experience in a labor and/or employee relations environment, including experience as a chief spokesperson in labor contract negotiations and administration, or employment law. 


In addition, all potential Human Resources team members are evaluated for the following competencies: 

Customer Service – the ability to work effectively with internal customer and/or clients to satisfy their service or product expectations.

Communication – the ability to take part in effective communication, which is characterized by skills and understandings that enable communication utilizing the Department's values.

Job Knowledge – the degree to which employees have job-specific knowledge necessary to provide the appropriate quality and quantity of work in a timely and efficient manner.

Accountability – the ability to demonstrate responsibility for personal and professional conduct, which contributes to the overall goals and objectives of the Department.

Interpersonal Skills – the ability to interact effectively with others to establish and maintain smooth working relationships.


Additional Information

This position is classified as a Strategic Advisor III - General Government. 

To be considered for this position, please submit your complete application, resume, and cover letter at no later than 4:00 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday May 14, 2019. In your cover letter, please clearly describe how your knowledge, skills, and abilities prepare you for the job responsibilities and qualifications outlined in this job announcement. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

This hiring process involves a driving history review and a background check of conviction and arrest records in compliance with Seattle's Fair Chance Employment Ordinance, SMC 14.17. Applicants will be provided an opportunity to explain or correct background information.

Who may apply: This position is open to all qualified candidates that meet the minimum qualifications. The City of Seattle values diverse perspectives and life experiences. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The City encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with diverse life experience. 

This posting may be used to recruit for additional opportunities within the next 6 months. 

Questions? Please contact Nicolette Hornbeck at

To learn more about Seattle Human Resources, please visit:

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