Labor Relations Manager

  • Full Time
  • Portland
  • Applications have closed

Website TriMet

Join TriMet as the Labor Relations Manager!

As Labor Relations Manager at TriMet, you’ll have the opportunity to manage a team while being at the forefront of shaping effective labor-management relations for the agency. 

Your primary responsibility will be to identify, plan, and implement key projects to improve quality, quantity, and efficiency of work conducted by represented employees along with improving internal functions which impact the experience of represented employees and shaping the landscape at TriMet. In partnership with legal and LR staff, you’ll lead the preparation and successful handling of grievance arbitrations. You’ll also develop and implement strategies to foster effective relations with union leadership to improve business outcomes. 

Additionally, you’ll be responsible for directing the work of assigned staff, including hiring, performance management, coaching, and training. As a key member of the bargaining committee, you’ll contribute to research and development of management’s bargaining proposals.

Hop on board and join us today!


Essential Functions

1) Implement strategies to rationalize, harmonize, and build effective labor-management relations. Administer the grievance process to ensure timely handling of grievances. Lead the preparation and successful handling of grievance arbitrations while partnering with various stakeholders.

2) Consult with leaders and teams across the agency to identify, diagnose, and problem solve organizational development and effectiveness problems and solutions. Implement work group intervention strategies and create team processes for optimizing results.

3) Litigate, manage, and provide active strategy for and case management of disputes, including mediations, arbitration, administrative hearings and litigation. Competently apply legal analysis, research, and writing to draft clear, concise, organized and accurate legal arguments. Maintain comprehensive knowledge of pertinent federal and state laws, regulations, rulings, interpretations and court decisions as they affect TriMet. Provides counsel to managers regarding labor relations positions as it relates to controlling law and regulations. 

4) Manage, plan, direct, coordinate and review the work of assigned staff, including hiring, performance management, coaching and training.

5) Identify, plan and implement key projects to improve quality, quantity, and efficiency of work conducted by represented employees along with improving internal functions which impact the experience of represented employees. Identify, design and implement strategic solutions to address labor relation issues, including supervisory and management practices, consistent and fair treatment of employees within the context of labor relations agreements, effective utilization of information relating to labor relations matters.

6) Lead process improvement efforts by developing, implementing, and sustaining the effective use of updated policies and processes in collaboration with stakeholders. Carefully identify relationships between systems and holistically improve processes with an understanding of how changes in one system may impact other district functions.

7) Develop and direct programs to help ensure managers and supervisors are fully acquainted and consistently comply with best practices of professional management and conduct within the context of labor relations in an effort to avoid inadvertent contract violations and unfair labor practices.

8) Serve as a resource to managers and subordinate staff members on labor relations best practices to help ensure fair treatment of employees within the context of applicable labor contract provisions, work rules, and established policies and procedures. Meet regularly with TriMet’s management and supervisory employees at field locations. Provide managers with interpretations and procedures relating to the collective bargaining agreement, policies, and work rules. Assist managers with developing and analyzing work rules. Provide counsel and guidance to managers on improving employee performance within the context of the collective bargaining agreement and other applicable agreements, including corrective action for employees who are not meeting established performance objectives.

9) Participate as a key member of the District’s contract negotiation team during negotiations for contract renewal. Provide input and recommendations on the formulation and prioritization of management’s proposals. Research and compile strategic information from comparable public transit agencies and other employers in preparation for negotiation. Work with department directors and managers to revise and develop work rules and procedures to incorporate new or revised contract provisions or midterm bargaining changes.

Position Requirements

A Bachelor’s Degree is required.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Human Resources, or Labor Relations is preferred.  

A Juris Doctor (JD) degree is preferred. 

A minimum of six (6) years total credited experience* 

Six (6) years of successful legal or labor relations experience with an employer with a large represented workforce are required. 

Four (4) years of successful legal or labor relations experience with an employer in public transit or in the public sector are preferred.

Two (2) years lead or project management or staff management are required. 

Or any equivalent combination of training or experience.

*The amount of credit a candidate receives for prior years of experience is based on the relevancy of that experience to the required or preferred prerequisites of the job description. Experience is prorated based on hours worked. LRHR assigns and validates the “credited experience”. 

Selection Criteria

Type of Position / Grade / FLSA

Grade 19, Exempt, Non-Union, Full-Time

Hybrid, 2 days/week in office

Salary Range
Minimum: $120,961.00
Maximum: $181,443.00

Salary offers will be determined by a candidate’s education, training and relevant experience. Any final offer of employment will fall within the range stated above.  For transparency, we choose to list the full available grade range, however, TriMet’s salary administration process will ultimately determine the final salary offered.

Selection Process 
Candidates will be selected based at a minimum on the result of:
1. Application Review (please include: Cover Letter and Resume)
2. Panel Interviews
3. Reference Check

Supplemental Information

Make sure you describe in detail how your education, training and work experience fit with this role. You are encouraged to attach a resume, cover letter, training certificates and/or letters of recommendation with your application. You are permitted five attachments of less than 5MB each.

If you are a qualified veteran and would like to apply for veterans’ preference points, you will need to reflect your status on the application and attach supporting documentation at the time of application submission.

If you need accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act for any part of the application process, contact our Human Resources staff at 503-962-7505, or the TTY line at 7-1-1. Note that we require a minimum of two workdays’ notice prior to the need for accommodation.

TriMet is an equal opportunity employer, committed to developing an organization that is reflective of and sensitive to the needs of the diverse community we serve, including veterans, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities.
ADA Statement
As applied to the workplace, applicants and employees must be qualified to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Essential functions may include required job functions performed infrequently as well as production standards related to the quality and quantity of work.

If a person with a disability could meet job qualifications with a reasonable accommodation, TriMet will work with the employee to accommodate the need. If TriMet’s accommodation is effective in allowing the employee to perform the essential functions of the job, it need not be the employee’s preferred accommodation.        

Keep in Touch!

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates

Let them know you found it on PDX Pipeline!