Labor Relations Manager

Agency Valley Water


FILING DEADLINE Open until filled

SALARY RANGE $12,412.40 - $15,853.07 Monthly


Are you an experienced public sector labor relations professional who’s passionate about collaborating, building relationships, and elevating the workforce? If so, check out this opportunity.

Valley Water seeks to be the premier public sector agency for employees in the Bay Area. That’s about more than just great wages and benefits. It’s about creating an environment where employees feel included and valued – where employees see how their work is making a difference in their community – where passion, excellence and teamwork are celebrated. Valley Water’s Labor Relations Manager will be a key figure in driving and supporting this culture.

The Labor Relations Manager will serve as management’s representative in all matters of employer-employee relations, serve as Valley Water’s negotiator, and oversee the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements. They will lead a team of two to oversee the administrative systems necessary to manage a comprehensive labor relations program.

Valley Water is the water resource agency for Santa Clara County, supplying safe, clean water, providing flood protection, and serving as an environmental steward for healthy ecosystems. Valley Water serves approximately two million people in 15 cities and manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, 400 acres of groundwater recharge ponds, and 275 miles of streams.

Our ideal candidate is an experienced public sector labor relations professional who’s fluent in negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements on behalf of management with multiple labor unions. They are an experienced people manager with a track record of building relationships, instilling passion and enthusiasm, and administering systems and programs to achieve compliance with agreements and management commitments.

Key Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide leadership as a key manager to focus on maximizing employee engagement, morale, support to Valley Water’s workforce and assisting Valley Water to be an employer of choice.
  • Support  managers and supervisors with developing workplace culture, improving practices, developing, revising and adhering to policies.
  • Develop key relationships with managers, bargaining group representatives and internal agency stakeholders.
  • Serve as Valley Water’s labor negotiator; oversee the negotiation of Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) and side letters with recognized employee organizations; collect input from stakeholders; develop and evaluate negotiation positions, strategies, proposals, and proposal costing and evaluation, and responses; establish and maintain proper documentation for the negotiations and implementation of the agreements.
  • Oversee, administer, and implement provisions of the CBAs and other union management agreements, including formal and informal grievances.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and institute human resource, payroll, and operational processes to achieve compliance with agreements and management commitments.
  • Provide direction to agency staff on matters of interpretation and application.
  • Initiate, design, implement, and maintain administrative systems necessary to manage a comprehensive labor relations program.
  • Identify, develop, deliver, oversee, and evaluate training programs for managers, supervisors, and employees.
  • Serve as management representative in all matters of employer-employee relations.
  • Identify, design, conduct, direct and write a wide variety of periodic and special studies, analyses and reports; recommend modifications to Valley Water programs, policies, procedures, and practices to promote best practices in labor management and achieve organizational objectives.
  • Direct, perform, administer and evaluate Valley Water’s employee corrective action and progressive disciplinary processes; conduct related research and investigations; coordinate and communicate with the legal office; prepare and distribute notifications; manage Skelly hearings and corresponding responses; and implement final determinations.

Ideal Candidate’s Background Includes:
Applicants whose experience and background best match the ideal experience, knowledge, skills, abilities and education are considered ideal candidates for the position. To determine the top candidates, each applicant will be assessed based on the ideal candidate criteria listed below.

Ideal Experience:
Five (5) years of experience in public sector labor relations, including significant responsibility negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements with multiple labor unions and two (2) years of direct supervisory experience.

Ideal Skills and Abilities:

  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with bargaining units, management, employees, staff, and others encountered during business.
  • Prepare and present clear and concise written and oral reports and related materials.
  • Provide effective leadership in a diversely staffed organization, consistent with executive direction and agency values.
  • Plan, organize, administer, coordinate, review and evaluate complex and interrelated human resource functions and services.
  • Develop and implement goals, objectives, policies, procedures, work standards, and internal controls.
  • Maintain and exhibit confidentiality, tact, discretion, and integrity.
  • Read, understand, and interpret complex rules, regulations, laws, legislation, policy, and guidelines applicable to labor relations.
  • Draft effective and clear labor relation strategies, tactics, and contract language.
  • Negotiate effective and well written CBAs, letters of agreement, and side letters.
  • Interpret and apply the rules and regulations in Board resolutions which govern labor relations at Valley Water.
  • Utilize and incorporate in the labor relations program, the efficiencies and capabilities provided by the information technology available at Valley Water.
  • Achieve reconciliation of employee, labor and management issues in a proactive and timely manner.
  • Provide effective coaching and training.
  • Select, supervise, evaluate, and develop subordinate staff.

Ideal Knowledge:

  • Federal and state employment law including, but not limited to areas of equal opportunity, workers compensation, wages, discrimination, retaliation, and protected leaves.
  • Decisions and opinions under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
  • Principles and practices of budgeting.
  • Decisions, opinions, and workings of PERB.
  • Principles and practices of collective bargaining, including good faith bargaining, duty to bargain, mandatory subjects of bargaining, meet and confer, unfair practices, last, best and final offers, and impasse processes.
  • Text, terms, principles, rights and requirements comprising the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (California Government Code at Sections 3500-3510).
  • Best language practices used in CBAs (also known as Memorandums of Understanding or MOUs).
  • Alternative dispute resolution methods and practices, including mediation, interest-based problem solving and arbitration.

Ideal Training and Education:
Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in business administration, public administration, or a closely related field to human resources.

*This position will receive a confidential salary differential of 5%. Required License or CertificatePossession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate, valid California driver’s license. Individuals who do not meet the driver’s license requirement due to a disability will be considered for a reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis. 

To review the detailed Job Description, click here (Download PDF reader)Selection Process(1)   The selection process may include one or more of the following: application review, application assessment, performance exercise, written exercise and/or interview.
(2)   The Employment Application, Qualifying Information Questions and/or Supplemental Questions will be evaluated based on the ideal candidate criteria listed above. Resumes are highly recommended.

NOTE: Position and start date is subject to availability of funds. Valley Water retains the right to re-post this position as deemed necessary.
Consideration may be given to existing applicant pools within the same classification.

Valley Water’s Equal Opportunity Non-Discrimination Policy is available for review upon request.

Koff & Associates