Careers at UMass Amherst

Senior Labor Relations Representative (Hybrid)

Apply now Job no: 522724
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Human Resources
Union: Non-Unit Exempt
Categories: Human Resources

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Under general direction of the Senior Director of HR Partnerships & Labor Relations, the Senior Labor Relations Representative is responsible for overseeing the implementation and day-to-day administration of the University's collective bargaining agreements covering staff. Participates the regional development, planning, and implementation of labor strategy, labor relations policies and procedures. Promotes collaborative labor relations by providing leadership, representation, coordination, advice, and support to business leaders in all aspects of labor relations, including contract administration, grievance handling, arbitrations, collective bargaining and unfair labor practice charges. Maintains effective business relationships with unions, legal counsel, and utility industry labor relations contacts. Participates in labor contract negotiations and leads the grievance process participating in arbitrations as needed. Ensures that management remains informed of and receives training on all labor relations policies and procedures. This position is a first point of contact for labor relations issues and serves as a functional lead negotiator for various bargaining units on campus.


Essential Functions

  • Represents management in negotiation and administration of the collective bargaining agreements (CBAs). Serves as a University representative in union contract negotiations including drafting and vetting proposals, building management consensus on bargaining positions, and acting as a co-lead or lead spokesperson.
  • Communicates with union officials representing employees covered by CBAs and with represented individuals to build and maintain positive labor/management relationships.
  • Assists management and other relevant partners in leading grievances and applying established grievance processes. Manages grievance procedures to handle complaints that result from disputes with unionized employees over the CBA, work rules, and interpretation of the meaning of the contract, including serving as a grievance officer in the grievance process.
  • Monitors grievances; identifies trends. Provides recommendations for resolutions to senior management.
  • Consults and collaborates with human resources staff members, managers, and executive management to obtain input on policies, wages, benefits, pensions, and work rules and practices that may be negotiation points.
  • Assists in training supervisors and managers on best practices in areas of performance management, discipline, grievance handling, and other labor relations matters.
  • Monitors trends in industry, including wages, hours, work rules, work conditions, benefits, etc. Monitors national, regional, and local economic data for potential impacts on negotiation and settlement of CBAs.
  • Participates in arbitration and other administrative agency proceedings and associated activities, in collaboration with the Office of General Counsel as needed.
  • Ensures compliance with collective bargaining agreements and employment policies.
  • Works with internal or external counsel to respond to government agency inquiries, including requests from DOL, MCAD, and EEOC.
  • Continually reviews labor relations policies, programs, and practices to keep University informed of current practices and new developments; ensures that the University is in compliance with all legal and contractual labor requirements and regulations. 


Other Functions

Performs other duties as assigned. 


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor’s Degree and six (6) years of related experience.
    • A Master’s Degree or other advanced Degree may be substituted for two (2) years of the required experience.
  • Experience with the collective bargaining process.
  • Knowledge of employee and labor relations practices and federal and state regulations pertaining to labor issues.
  • Knowledge of performance management practices.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a confidential environment.
  • Exceptional levels of professionalism and tact.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s Degree in business, industrial relations, conflict resolution or related field or J.D.
  • Experience in drafting and presenting proposals in bargaining.
  • Experience in the public sector.
  • Experience in higher education.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.


Work Schedule

Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.

This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position is non-unit, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Non-Unit (Professional/or Classified) Employee Personnel Policy.


Salary Information

Salary commensurate with experience.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume. References will be checked at the finalist stage, please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references. Applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis until the position is filled. 


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.


Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

on-the-spot-interview details Upcoming On-the-Spot Interviews at UMass Amherst for Custodial, Grounds, Landscaping, Culinary, Catering, Hospitality, Housekeeping, Hotel Front Desk. On-the-Spot Interviews Details

Returning Applicant?

Login to complete your application and/or apply for more positions.


Job Alerts

We'll send you an email when a position becomes available that matches your search criteria


Human Resources

Visit Human Resources for more information on benefits, payroll, health insurance, retirement and general information about working at UMass Amherst.