Under limited supervision, performs highly responsible supervisory/professional work in formulating/ administering the labor relations program for Polk County; represents management in the negotiation, interpretation, and administration of multiple collective bargaining agreements; oversees and administers employee County benefit programs; represents the County in administrative law proceedings; reviews/investigates complaints; and administers county policies.
Essential Duties include but are not limited to:
Advises/assists in formulating the County's goals/position during collective bargaining negotiations; represents the Board of Supervisors as chief negotiator during contract negotiations with bargaining unit representatives; administers/interprets collective bargaining agreements; prepares/presents the County's position in grievance/interest arbitration cases; makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on wages, benefits, and conditions of employment; recommends changes in contract language to clarify intent; makes unit determinations.
Provides guidance/direction to management staff to ensure proper interpretation/administration of labor agreements; advises/assists management staff in resolution of disciplinary issues and processing of grievances; acts as third step hearing officer for grievances.
Researches aspects of law and arbitral precedent related to contract proposals, grievance issues, and terms and conditions of employment to ensure consistency with laws and to identify law/precedents to support the County's position on contract language during negotiations, arbitration, and administrative hearings.
Conducts investigations/provides advice on charges of unfair labor practices, and discrimination complaints including complaints/requests for accommodation of disabilities and sexual harassment.
Represents the County in administrative law proceedings involving contested workers compensation cases, unemployment claims, and issues brought before the Public Employment Relations Board and Department of Labor.
Oversees the County benefit programs including, but not limited to, health/life/disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, leave of absences, and unemployment insurance; monitors claim expenses, negotiates insurance rates; determines eligibility and makes recommendations on requests submitted; oversees and administers the County drug testing program.
Conducts special studies and participates in special projects as assigned; prepares written reports for management review; makes presentations to the Board of Supervisors, Elected Officials, Department Heads, County staff, and the general public on labor relations/benefit issues.
Performs related duties as may be required.
Thorough knowledge of labor relations principles, practices, procedures, strategies, and trends including unit determination, contract negotiation, interest based bargaining, and dispute resolution.
Thorough knowledge of the principles, practices, and procedures of public personnel administration as applied to labor relations issues/problems.
Thorough knowledge of local, state, and federal laws, regulations, administrative rules, and guidelines pertaining to labor relations/benefits administration/employment law including the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Public Employment Relations Act, COBRA, FMLA, unemployment, workers compensation, and insurance regulations.
Knowledge of the principles, practices, and trends in benefits administration.
Knowledge of legal research methods, techniques, and reference sources.
Knowledge of grievance and interest arbitration hearing procedures in a contested case environment.
Excellent oral and written communication skills.
Skill in researching techniques.
Good public speaking/presentation skills.
Ability to develop, interpret, and administer contract provisions.
Ability to represent the County effectively during bargaining sessions, arbitration, and administrative proceedings.
Ability to analyze facts and make sound decisions based on evidence presented and applicable laws, rules, and precedents.
Ability to resolve conflict through persuasion, mediation, and negotiation.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with elected officials, department heads, bargaining unit representatives, employees, representatives from community/regulatory agencies, and members of the general public.
Ability to plan and coordinate special projects.
Ability to direct the work of others.
Graduation from an accredited law school.
Must be licensed to practice law in the State of Iowa.
Three years progressively responsible experience in labor relations including experience with contract negotiation and benefits administration.
About Polk County, Iowa
Polk County is the largest county in Iowa with a population of 430,640 according to the 2010 U.S. census. The county seat is in Des Moines and other communities include Altoona, Ankeny, Bondurant, Clive, Grimes, Johnston, Urbandale, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights.
Polk County offers competitive wages and a comprehensive benefits package including health insurance, dental, vision, life insurance, long term disability, vacation and sick leave, deferred compensation plans and participation in the IPERS retirement benefit.