Program Manager, Labor Relations

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The Program Manager, Labor Relations maintains effective working relationships with Operations managers and union representatives. They creatively find common ground and thoughtfully balance often competing interests such as organizational consistency and best practices, efficient and sustainable service delivery, and employee engagement and morale.

Represents Labor Relations, and TriMet management generally, in meetings with union representatives and frontline employees. Provides technical consultation to managers and supervisors on a wide variety of labor issues including grievance administration; corrective action and discipline administration; mediation and facilitation to resolve work group problems.

The Program Manager, Labor Relations coordinates, utilizes and consistently communicates information to ensure that approaches to the resolution of labor disputes are consistent, fair, and in the long-term interest of TriMet.

As a hybrid workplace, this position can be up to 80% remote with the ability to come into the office on a regular basis and as needed.

Ensure a commitment to safety through consistent and professional behaviors in performance of job requirements that demonstrate safety is a fundamental value that guides all aspects of our work. Perform related duties as required.

Serve as a good steward of TriMet by regularly utilizing our transit system to maintain a strong and current understanding of customers’ experiences and of TriMet’s product and service offerings.


Essential Functions

1. Analyze pertinent issues and information; assess the impact of proposed department work rules or contract language changes on employee morale and/or labor relations. Analyze and develop reports, spreadsheets and charts for presentation in response to various labor relations issues such as grievance hearings, arbitrations, and other meetings requiring statistical or trend data on employee grievances as requested. Represent the District at grievance and arbitration hearings, and in midterm bargaining.

2. Consult with managers and supervisors on labor and employee performance issues to ensure integrity and consistency of decision making. Investigate and research past practices, prior grievance decisions, arbitration and mediation decisions, and recent incidents that provide relevant precedent or guidance for resolving employee disputes and disciplinary decision-making.

3. Provide technical assistance to managers and supervisors in preparation for fact-finding investigations to resolve grievances and employees disputes. Participate with managers in identifying group performance deficiencies or behavioral issues.

4. Advise managers and supervisors on appropriate disciplinary measures including review of employee performance history, current situations, previous disciplinary actions and other documents. When requested compose formal disciplinary action letters for managers signatures. Coach and prepare managers for pre-discipline and discipline implementation meetings.

5. Review letters of intent and final discipline documentation. Collaborate with Directors, Legal staff and subject matter experts to ensure compliance with District policy, WWA language, prior District actions, past practice, etc.

6. Interpret contract language including responding to questions from managers and supervisors. Participate in labor administration meetings. Train managers and supervisors on new and/or changed contract language and effective labor relations’ practices as required.

7. Develop and deliver training materials and courses related to managing a union workforce grievance and labor administration including contract interpretation, corrective action, discipline and due process for managerial staff. Monitor training evaluations and make recommendations to improve training materials and processes.

8. Monitor accuracy of grievance data and follow up with staff to correct omissions and errors in the grievance database.

9. Responsible for day-to-day direct safeguarding of District, employee, and all records entrusted in the course and scope of the position in accordance with TriMet’s Records Management Policy.

Position Requirements


A Bachelor’s Degree is required.

A Bachelor’s Degree in human resources, business administration or a related field is preferred.

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

Experience as a senior human resource professional in employee relations, labor relations and performance management is required.

Experience working in combined union and non-union environments 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 assign and validate the “credited experience”.

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