Client Services & Labour Relations Manager

Queen's University Campus
Competitive Compensation Package
August 1, 2018
August 19, 2018
Job Level
Employment Type
Full time
Designations Required/Preferred


Queen’s University’s Central Human Resources department is seeking a client-oriented senior Human Resources (HR) professional for the position of HR Client Services & Labour Relations Manager within our HR Client services team.  Reporting jointly to the Director, Client Services and Director and Counsel, Employee Relations, this position is responsible for providing HR generalist support to a number of internal clients, implementing HR programs and initiatives, and providing expert advice on Talent Management and Labour Relations matters.

The ideal candidate will be a senior HR Generalist with several years of experience providing HR support in a complex unionized environment, with a particular emphasis on Labour Relations.  In addition, they will have proven success creating effective relationships with departmental leaders and executives, and are looked upon as a trusted business partner who is able to provide strategic advice on all things HR.

As a senior member of the HR department, this position will have exposure to a wide-variety of projects and initiatives, and will act as a conduit between the Client Services and Labour Relations teams.  The incumbent will have the opportunity to support HR in an organisation that is consistently rated as a great place to work in Canada, and offers a large team of collaborative HR professionals with whom to collaborate and grow their HR practice.  

If you feel your experience and interests match the position as we have described it, we encourage you to apply.


  • Builds cross-functional strength across the CST and ELR teams by establishing strategies and programs for knowledge exchange and skills development and ensuring timely flow of information to and from both teams.
  • Builds relationships with the client group to understand the particular needs of each department within the portfolio. Proactively introduces and implements solutions to assist each department in achieving its goals, providing strategic HR guidance across the spectrum of talent management activities.
  • Provides advice on complex human resource and leadership related issues, including Employee & Labour Relations matters, Total Compensation, Recruitment, Staff Development/Training, legal compliance, etc., ensuring consistency with Collective Agreements, University human resources policies, procedures and legislative bodies.
  • Diagnoses organizational effectiveness issues and implements appropriate solutions. Coaches leaders to resolve matters related to team effectiveness, employee engagement, change management, problem solving and conflict resolution.
  • Guides the recruitment process on behalf of managers, including assisting in needs assessment, job description development and evaluation, compensation setting and the selection process.
  • Manages the grievance process, advising and leading grievance investigations and preparation of responses, interpreting collective agreement language and staff policies, past practice, and potential risks to the University. Collects, co-ordinates and analyzes the relative strength of available evidentiary documentation and viva voce evidence. For later
  • stage grievances, prepares relevant materials and correspondence, negotiates settlements, drafts legal settlement documentation, and acts as the client representative for external counsel to direct and co-ordinate the University’s case on matters that proceed to arbitration.
  • Works with Organizational Development and Learning to facilitate client needs such as organizational reviews.
  • Responds to queries/issues raised by managers, staff and union representatives, including the investigation of employee complaints, gathering background information, providing advice, effective recommendations and strategies for resolution in circumstances of conflict; builds consensus and implements conflict resolution in a manner consistent with the collective agreement requirements, employment/labour relations legislation/jurisprudence and relevant employment related policy.
  • Liaises with union representatives on matters ranging from specific issues and grievances, to committee work.
  • Participates in the collective bargaining process as a member of the committee by providing information and documentation regarding human resource and operational issues and identifying current language or processes that are of concern and recommending changes. Develops draft proposals and researches issues as required.
  • Develops and delivers training and education sessions to managers and other employees as required on a range of human resources programs and initiatives including the Performance Dialogue Process, discipline, recruitment practices, collective agreement interpretation and administration.
  • Participates on labour/management committees and other and other university committees as assigned, acting as lead when required.
  • Plans, prioritizes and manages the work of employees, providing strategic and tactical advice, guidance and coaching. Identifies the need for staff resources, participates on staffing committees, and makes effective recommendations regarding employee selection.
  • Manages performance by establishing performance standards, reviewing and evaluating performance and conducting formal performance reviews on an ongoing basis.
  • Assesses staff training and development needs, and ensures that employees receive training required to improve and sustain successful performance.
  • Investigates, addresses and resolves employee/labour relations issues, including disciplinary matters. Makes decisions or effective recommendations on matters involving possible discipline, discharge and probationary termination.
  • Collaborates with the Directors in setting strategic goals and objectives, new policy or initiatives.
  • Undertakes special projects as assigned, which could include developing collective agreement interpretations, policies, procedures or protocols; preparing documents, reports, presentations, positions papers etc.; and working with HR colleagues, faculties and/or departments on longer term and/or more significant human resources priorities
  • Acts as client representative for E/LR for certain legal proceedings pertaining to staff matters within the assigned client group (eg Human Rights hearings, grievance arbitrations).
  • Acts as 2nd Chair at bargaining table when required.


  • A University degree specialising in human resources and/or labour relations. Masters in Industrial Relations or Law degree preferred. CHRL designation an asset.
  • A minimum of eight to ten years of relevant work experience in a mid to senior human resources management position, including labour relations experience in a multi-bargaining unit setting.
  • Experience actively participating at collective bargaining tables
  • Sound knowledge of principles, practices and techniques of human resources administration
  • Comprehensive knowledge of labour law and employment-related legislation and application
  • Experience in labour relations in the broader public sector and within an academic environment, with an understanding of university culture, governance, policies, practices and procedures is preferred.
  • Knowledge of Queen’s Human Resources policies and procedures is an asset.
  • Satisfactory Criminal Records check is required.
  • Consideration will be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.


  • Excellent communication (oral and written), negotiation and dispute resolution skills, including the ability to listen, influence and advocate effectively.
  • Ability to develop effective relationships, contribute to building a positive, constructive, modern workplace and labour relations environment and gain credibility across all levels of the organization.
  • Professionalism, confidence and strong orientation to delivering quality service to clients.
  • Strong coaching, mentoring, leadership and facilitation skills. Strong collaborative and consensus building skills.
  • Ability to assimilate and reconcile information and divergent perspectives, often in situations where some level of conflict is present; initiative and tenacity to work with complex issues through to completion.
  • Ability to investigate and resolve employee relations and organizational issues, exercising initiative and creative problem-solving skills to achieve effective and appropriate solutions.
  • 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 necessary consensus around a resolution.
  • Excellent judgment, diplomacy and confidentiality.
  • Strong analytical and research skills to develop and recommend appropriate strategies and solutions.
  • Ability to cope with multiple demands, manage and execute competing priorities, and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to appreciate the budgetary and precedential consequences of decision making.


  • Determines and recommends human resource strategies to management within the client group portfolio.
  • Assesses complex situations and determines the appropriate course of action to resolve issues.
  • In consultation with the Directors, decides on appropriate interpretation and administration of collective agreements and policies. Trains Human Resources employees and external clients regarding the implementation of those decisions.
  • Determines appropriate direction, advice and support to provide clients with respect to their talent management objectives and in order to achieve effective administration of collective agreements.
  • Makes decisions on the appropriate resolution of issues such as grievances and other disputes. Applies appropriate judgment to the benefit of settlement relative to the potential costs and precedential nature of the settlement. Applies appropriate judgment in
  • deciding not to settle when institutional principals are involved that cannot be compromised.
  • Provides leadership on grievance administration and arbitration processes relating to staff labour relations for the University. Makes decisions on how to best support the management of a case.
  • Makes recommendations to assist the senior management team in determining strategic directions of collective bargaining with staff unions.
  • Identifies and makes recommendations to the Directors regarding the design and delivery of various training programs required for managers, HR colleagues and other University personnel as necessary.
  • Provides advice to the Directors and HR Client Service Managers on strategy related to staff labour relations, talent management activities and collective bargaining.
  • Determines content and structure of correspondence, reports and proposals.
  • Recommends changes and modifications to University policies, procedures and collective agreement language.
  • Makes decisions and/or effective recommendations regarding transfers and promotions.
  • Evaluates employee performance and decides on appropriate training or coaching to address lack of proficiency in carrying out responsibilities, or remedial action for staff disciplinary situations.
  • Assesses investigation outcome of grievances and makes effective recommendations on appropriate course of action or next steps on grievances.
  • Makes effective recommendations on level of discipline up to discharge and probationary termination.
  • Evaluates job candidates and makes effective recommendations on suitable hires.