Labor Negotiator

City of Tacoma, WA
November 18, 2023
Tacoma, WA
Job Type


Position Description

The City of Tacoma is seeking a highly motivated and creative problem solver to join our experienced team of Labor Negotiators. Under the direction of the Labor Relations Division Manager, you will serve as lead negotiator for multiple collective bargaining agreements each year and be the first point of contact for City departments in need of contract administration assistance.

In this role, you will develop and maintain business relationships with senior leaders from City management and labor unions. The City of Tacoma offers a seasoned labor relations professional the opportunity to grow their skills, with collective bargaining agreements covering office and field workers, as well as public safety, utilities, and the railroad industry. Approximately 75% of Tacoma's 4,000 employees are in 29 bargaining units represented by 12 different labor unions. The Labor Negotiator is an appointive FLSA-exempt position that works in an office environment and occasionally includes evening hours. This position is eligible for a telework/in-office hybrid option.

Primary Responsibilities include:

  • Negotiate collective bargaining agreements on behalf of the City and its departments as assigned
  • Coordinate proposals for changes in collective bargaining agreements with department management negotiation teams
  • Assist department staff and management by clarifying and reviewing proposed actions impacting represented employees
  • Prepare cost analyses, exhibits and summaries of salary survey information in support of contract negotiations
  • Research contract and negotiation history to resolve contract interpretation and application issues
  • Investigate and provide advice regarding employee grievances and complaints; coordinate grievance tracking and processing
  • Represent departments during labor-related meetings, fact-finding processes, and administrative proceedings
  • Testify at grievance arbitration hearings and matters before the Public Employment Relations Commission
  • Serve as a City contact and management liaison for Union leaders and business representatives
  • Prepare responses to requests for information
  • Prepare a variety of labor union related correspondence

Minimum Education*
Bachelor's degree in human resources, business or public administration or directly related field.

Minimum Experience*
5 years of professional experience in labor relations including experience as chief spokesperson in contract negotiations

*Equivalency: 1 year of experience = 1 year of education

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience in a public sector environment
  • Experience dealing with multiple and diverse collective bargaining agreements

Knowledge & Skills

Negotiate Agreements
Effectively work with others to understand interests and actively strive to achieve agreements or resolve differences in a timely manner.

Employ expertise, credibility, and effective partnering to help clients identify, evaluate and resolve complex and sensitive issues, problems and service needs.

Relationship Building
Build constructive working relationships characterized by a high level of acceptance, cooperation and mutual respect.

Use data and information in a clear and rational thought process to assess and understand issues, evaluate options, form accurate conclusions and make decisions.

Communication Effectiveness
Convey clear, timely, written and verbal, persuasive messages that positively influence the thoughts and actions of others.
Selection Process & Supplemental Information
City of Tacoma Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress. One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.

The City of Tacoma is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workplace. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.

Interested individuals should apply online and attach a detailed resume and cover letter that includes job experience, major responsibilities and accomplishments related to this position. Applicants whose backgrounds most closely reflect the current needs of the department may be invited to participate in an interview. Reference checks will be conducted on final candidates and appointment is subject to passing a background check.

The City of Tacoma believes that each employee makes a significant contribution to our success. This job description is designed to outline primary duties, qualifications and job scope. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position.

The City of Tacoma is nestled along the shores of Commencement Bay in Washington State and offers many community parks, miles of beautiful waterfront, hiking & biking trails, golf courses, museums, and a world-class zoo with an aquarium. Tacoma also serves as a gateway to some of the most magnificent natural wonders in the world, such as Puget Sound, Mount Rainier National Park and the Olympic Peninsula.

The City of Tacoma provides excellent medical, dental and vision benefits for the whole family; paid holidays and personal time off; participation in Tacoma's Public Employees' Retirement System and a growing variety of City-sponsored health and wellness opportunities. For more information on the City of Tacoma's benefit package feel free to explore City of Tacoma Benefits.

Communication from the City of Tacoma:
We primarily communicate via e-mail during the application process. E-mails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk e-mail folders.

The online application system requires you to enter a substantial amount of information. Be prepared to spend an hour or more entering the required information. In order for your application materials to be considered, all information must be submitted by the closing date and time listed on this job announcement.

For assistance with the application process or questions regarding this job announcement please contact Human Resources at (253) 591-5400 by 4:00 pm on the closing date. This will allow us to assist you before the job announcement closes.

The City of Tacoma provides excellent medical, dental and vision plans for the whole family; paid holidays and paid leave; participation in the Tacoma Public Employees' Retirement System (alternate plan for Police/Fire); continuing education and advancement opportunities and a growing variety of City-sponsored health and wellness opportunities and incentives.

Medical Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Dental Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Vision Coverage: For eligible employees and their eligible dependents.

Paid Leave: City employees are entitled to received paid holidays, sick/vacation leave or personal time off (PTO), depending upon union affiliation and appointment type.

Insurance Plans: Employees are covered by a long-term disability plan. Short-term and expanded long-term disability insurance plans are also available to employees. The State Industrial Insurance Act also covers employees.

Deferred Compensation: Income can be set aside on a pretax basis and invested for supplementation of normal retirement income.

Retirement: All employees of the City, except members of the Police and Fire services, Tacoma Rail and certain project employees, are included in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System. Information on the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System can be found at or by calling (253) 502-8200.

Other Employment Information

Direct Deposit: Employees are paid on a bi-weekly schedule by direct deposit.

Salary Increases: Based on satisfactory job performance, the City provides for a regular progression of salary increases for most classifications according to the salary schedule.

Union Affiliation: Many job classifications are covered by union security provisions which require union membership, dues, or payment of equivalent service fees.

Note: The provisions of this job announcement do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice.

Closing Date/Time: 12/11/2023 5:00 PM Pacific

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