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  • Associate Director, Employee Relations
    Employee Relations
    University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

    Position Summary

    Reporting to Director of Employee Relations, in this essential role you will strategically direct all aspects of employee management for multi-union, public sector University with a seven thousand plus employee count. This role requires you to be a motivated self-starter to manage a large and complex caseload of labor and employee relations issues with significant human resources cross-over.

    Your responsibilities include:

      • Collaboration with and trusted advisor to decanal units, university human resources, SUNY administration and union leadership requires a highly organized individual who can dynamically manage multiple and multifaceted cases within the same workday.

      • Demonstrated ability to identify and anticipate client needs and apply understanding and/or perspective to solve problems and ensure outcomes in a timely manner.

      • Demonstrate excellence in legal research, analysis and writing, including administrative and legal forum response, ADA accommodation request response, grievance response, and drafting disciplinary charges.

      • Assist in educating and strengthening managers’ leadership skills, ensuring robust and equitable outcomes in addressing employee performance concerns.

      • Self-directed administration of corrective action & grievance investigatory processes, including witness statements, employee interrogation and drafting disciplinary charges/grievance responses.

      • Administer employee corrective action processes, with significant judgment to determine appropriate corrective response.

      • Administer Step 1 grievance processes and serve as first assistant in later steps, through binding arbitration.

      • Acknowledgement and consideration of employee sentiment; educating on alternate points of view, reinforcement of firm policies, programs, and stance on issues.

      • Case preparation and presentation in administrative fora.

      • CBA/policy administration, including extensive counsel to leadership re employee management.

      • Understand the importance of and be comfortable in adhering to established perspective, processes, and protocols, to ensure consistency and standardization of workflow in a fair and equitable manner.

      • Demonstrate an inspirational mindset, observing the highest degree of confidentiality in handling sensitive information.

      • Serve as principal in labor management, including review and presentation on topical issues addressed by both management and labor.

      • Lead workplace training in all areas of employee management, including employee workload and supervision, corrective action, workplace safety, workplace nepotism among others.

      • Assist SUNY Counsel, OER Counsel, NYS Inspector General and NYS Attorney General in case management and investigations.


    To be successful in this role, you will need strong interpersonal, analytical, communication and customer service skills to effectively communicate, educate and support university leadership, department chairs and support staff through complex labor and employment concerns.

    Outstanding Benefits Package

    Working at UB comes with benefits that exceed salary alone. There are personal rewards including comprehensive health and retirement plan options. We also focus on creating and sustaining a healthy mix of work, personal and academic pursuit – all in an effort to support your work-life effectiveness. We support your growth and development through our career coaching and training department and we qualify as a public service loan forgiveness organization. Visit our benefits website to learn about our benefit packages.

    About the University at Buffalo
    The University at Buffalo (UB) #ubuffalo is one of America’s leading public research universities and a flagship of the State University of New York system, recognized for our excellence and our impact. UB is a premier, research-intensive public university dedicated to academic excellence. Our research, creative activity and people positively impact the world. Like the city we call home, UB is distinguished by a culture of resilient optimism, resourceful thinking and pragmatic dreaming that enables us to reach others every day. Visit our website to learn more about the University at Buffalo.

    University at Buffalo is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and, in keeping with our commitment, welcomes all to apply including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

    Minimum Qualifications

    Minimum Qualification Requirements:

      • Juris doctorate plus 5 years direct labor and employee relations experience; or commensurate, progressive labor and employee relations experience in a highly unionized environment.


    Demonstrated Skills for Success:

    • Collective bargaining agreement negotiation and administration, preferably in multiple-unit settings.

    • Strategic thinking and analysis, specific to CBA language, practice and bargaining history.

    • Employee discipline administration, including first-chair arbitral experience.

    • Multi-step grievance administration, including first-chair arbitral, agency, and/or court experience.

    • Working knowledge of labor and employment laws and standard personnel policies, preferably within NYS public-sector.

    • Strategic leadership, preferably within higher education and leading high functioning and motivated employees.

    • Subject matter expert training on labor and employment topics, preferably with train-the-trainer experience.

    • Excellent verbal and written communication, including verbal argument, witness examination and legal writing prowess.

    • Strong interpersonal skills, including emotional intelligence (thoughtful, thorough, and empathetic).


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