MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT Code No. 000119
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND Grade 27
LABOR RELATIONS ADVISOR
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is advanced-level professional staff work providing consultation and advisory service in the labor/employee relations area. Contacts include high-level officials in the County, Executive Branch Departments and Agencies, and the County's Legislative Branch offices. These contacts are for the purpose of providing expert labor/employee relations advice; discuss, negotiate, and agree on appropriate courses of action; influence others who may have different views or objectives; obtain desired actions; and to solve the more difficult operating and program problems encountered in the work areas. Other contacts include Union presidents and their representatives and attorneys of private law firms to discuss, negotiate, come to agreement and finalize documentation on various topics (e.g., grievances, prohibited practice issues, and Family and Medical Leave disputes); and National and County Merit Systems Protection Board and other Federal and municipal neutral adjudication officials (e.g., administrative law judges) to discuss the merits of cases. An incumbent in this class may occasionally speak in front of groups, but direct service or assistance to the public is limited.
An employee in this class possesses advanced, up-to-date, in-depth knowledge of labor and employee relations and performs a variety of non-standard professional assignments in this specialized area. This class is distinguished from the next lower human resources specialist class by the recognized expertise and authority vested in this class to interpret broad guidelines as well as the relative freedom from supervision and instructions received from the supervisor. Assignments are stated in terms of broadly defined missions or functions. The employee, while receiving little or no technical guidance, is responsible for planning, designing, and carrying out the work independently. The employee is responsible for coordinating with others, e.g., representatives from the offices and firms listed above, as deemed necessary to accomplish the objectives of each area of work. Results of the work are considered technically authoritative and are normally accepted without significant change. Guidelines include Federal laws and regulations; public and private sector case law; collective bargaining agreements; labor relations databases; Montgomery County Code; Montgomery County Charter; and Montgomery County Personnel Regulations. The employee uses considerable judgment to interpret the intent of the guides and to develop directives, rules, regulations, policies and procedures. The employee is recognized as the technical authority on the interpretation of Federal laws, regulations, and case law. As such, the employee is granted full latitude to develop labor relations strategies, draft legislation, and provide expert labor relations advisory services. The complexity of the work of this class is marked by the politically sensitive nature of draft legislation and proposed changes to regulations that must be thoroughly researched and supported. Complexity of the work is also marked by such factors as the need to try new and untried methods and approaches; substantial depth of analysis; major areas of uncertainty in interpretation or evaluation; originating new techniques; and consideration of a broad range of issues, factors or circumstances whose importance and interrelationships are difficult to ascertain and assess. The scope of the work involves establishing criteria, thorough analysis of a variety of complex issues, and/or investigating a variety of unusual conditions, problems or questions. The work affects all County agencies, employees and job applicants outside County Government. Work is primarily sedentary and is performed in an office environment. Typically, the employee sits comfortably to do the work, interspersed by brief periods of standing, walking, bending, and carrying of papers and books, and extensive periods requiring the use of computer terminals to accomplish work objectives.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Develops and recommends labor relations policy and strategy by analyzing the County's overall objectives, the history of the parties to the collective bargaining relationship, the prevailing interpretations of contract language through examination of arbitration decisions and review of CAO responses to grievances, trends in public and private sector labor relations, recent decisions by neutral private and public sector Boards in interpreting labor statutes and other persuasive authority including recent court decisions.
In proceedings before the Labor Relations Administrator/Permanent Umpire and other neutral adjudication officials, advocates in favor of County labor relations policy and strategy approaches on a variety of issues (e.g., arbitration of contractual grievances, prohibited personnel practices) based on independent interpretation of public and private sector case law.
Develops legal strategy/positions and provides expert consultation and advice to the Office of the County Attorney; and recommends the appropriate OHR stance to advocate in prohibited practice hearings, interest arbitrations and grievance arbitrations.
Conducts research and drafts Office of Human Resources legislation and regulations, prepares documents and testimony associated with legislation and regulations, and works with the Executive Branch staff and County Council staff to obtain approval of draft legislation and regulations. Makes recommendations concerning the implementation of legislation and regulations.
Oversees OHR projects and initiatives in support of collective bargaining and employee relations issues.
Conducts grievance hearings, prepares and reviews grievance responses, responds to MSPB appeals, provides advice to managers and employees, prepares written guidance, and prepares and presents training on various labor/employee relations topics.
Experience: Considerable (5 years) applicable professional work experience dealing with interpreting public and/or private sector case law in a law firm, human resources office, or similar work environment.
Education: A Law Degree from an accredited college or university.
Equivalency: No equivalency.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Expert knowledge of Federal labor relations laws and regulations.
Considerable knowledge of recent MSPB, court, and other neutral public and private sector Boards' decisions.
Considerable knowledge of labor/employee relations principles and practices.
Considerable knowledge of municipal government laws, rules, regulations, and practices, particularly those governing the administration of personnel programs.
Skill in negotiating complex issues with legal representatives, legislative office personnel, department heads, and agency officials and their representatives.
Ability to prepare comprehensive documentation packages containing supporting information for legislative and regulatory submissions using the latest available automation and statistical reporting tools.
Ability to handle confidential information with discretion.
Ability to interpret and explain labor/employee relations laws, principles, policies, and regulations.
Ability to arrive at sound decisions through detailed analysis and evaluation of information received from a variety of sources.
Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in a variety of mediums to all levels of employees.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with officials, managers, and employees.
Ability to plan, set priorities, and organize numerous work assignments.
Ability to attend meetings or perform other assignments at locations outside the office, as necessary.
Individuals appointed to a position in this class will be required to serve a probationary period of twelve months and, if promoted to a position in this class, will be required to serve a probationary period of six months. Performance will be carefully evaluated during the probationary period. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Medical History Review
Class Established: July, 2006