At McMaster University, our people are our most valuable asset. We strive to attract, develop, and retain the best faculty and staff, and to foster an inclusive community which values the strengths, perspectives and contributions of each individual. McMaster’s profile and stature has evolved to one of the Top 100 Universities in the World and recognition as Canada’s Most Research Intensive University. McMaster is a diverse and complex institution, home to almost 30,000 graduate and undergraduate students who study across six faculties and employing approximately 14,000 individuals annually in more than 20 unique employee groups. McMaster has been continuously recognized as one of the top employers in the Hamilton / Niagara region, and one of Canada’s Top Diversity Employers.
About Human Resources
Human Resources Services is committed to delivering people and culture solutions that advance McMaster’s vision, mission and strategic priorities. By providing impactful programs, expert HR counsel, and trusted partnerships, HR team members strive to optimize workforce strategy, inclusivity and operational efficiency, while advancing HR excellence.
Our HR Vision: To advance a healthy, safe, and inclusive culture that inspires a diverse and talented McMaster community to contribute to a Brighter World.
Our HR Mission: We cultivate a community in which every employee’s experience is that of acceptance, inclusion, belonging, and meaningful connection with the University’s mission and institutional priorities. We do this through our following four Strategic Pillars:
- Championing University People and Culture
- Collaborating with our University and Community Partners
- Advancing Service Delivery and Operational Excellence
- Promoting Learning, Development and a Growth Mindset
Check out our 2023-27 HR Strategy at hr.mcmaster.ca!
About the Position
The Senior Consultant, Employee / Labour Relations & Dispute Resolution is a senior member of the HR team and is accountable to promote a positive overall employee & labour relations culture and climate at McMaster University and to develop and implement employee & labour relations programs and strategies to ensure institutional compliance with labour and employment legislation, including the Labour Relations Act, Employment Standards Act, Occupational Health & Safety Act, Human Rights Code.
The Senior Consultant provides strategic advice to leaders and human resources staff as an expert within the university’s Labour Relations Centre of Expertise and HR Service Delivery model, including leadership in key subject matter areas including collective bargaining, strategic grievance handling, workplace investigations, union relations, alternative dispute resolution and conflict mediation.
This role requires a senior level professional that has demonstrated the ability to balance their Labour Relations technical knowledge with the strong ability to build partnerships with clients in support of achieving their business goals. Throughout your career you have been recognized as a strategic thinker with the ability to foster and sustain a collaborative culture with a focus on providing comprehensive and integrated ELR coaching and support to employees, HR leads, University leadership and union representatives. Key areas of focus for this position include:
- Build, maintain, and nurture positive and productive long-term union relations with all of McMaster University’s local and national union partners, navigating successful relationships while also promoting and advancing the University’s interests in alignment with the University mission, vision, and institutional priorities.
- Provide timely, expert and consistent employee/labour relations risk-based advice to university leaders, and HR team members across the institution relating to highly complex and sensitive employment matters, including the identification of risks relating to employment and labour law compliance and recommendations to mitigate those risks, anticipating the needs of the community, and adeptly taking stewardship of issues of significant impact to McMaster staff, faculty and students.
- Develop and implement strategies to continuously improve service delivery and nurture professional relationships with McMaster colleagues, union partners, and external sector partners, and seek to continuously improve processes, relationships, and to strengthen the Centre of Expertise’s contributions and partnerships within the OneHR team.
- Lead and support collective bargaining, as required, including conducting research, reviewing sector outcomes and best practices and preparing collective bargaining mandates aligned with university bargaining strategy; leading implementation of new/renewed collective agreements; contributing to strategies to successfully conclude bargaining.
- Provide advice to support leaders and HR team members address collective agreement administration, practice, and interpretation.
- Develop, recommend, and implement appropriate strategies for grievance and complex issue resolution, arbitration, and other formal dispute processes leveraging expertise and deep experience in employee and labour relations, relevant legislation and case law, and collective agreement administration to provide different options and risk settings to decision makers for managing and resolving issues.
- Act as an Intake Office Coordinator pursuant to the University Discrimination & Harassment Policy. Develop, recommend, and implement appropriate strategies to enable early and effective internal dispute resolution for highly complex and sensitive employment-related matters.
- Lead alternative dispute resolution processes and workplace restoration efforts for complex files and in partnership with leaders, and other HR team members.
- Plan and conduct internal workplace investigations in line with University policies including Discrimination & Harassment, Sexual Violence, Fraud and other potential workplace misconduct, demonstrating commitment to trauma-informed principles and practices, diversity, inclusion, and cultural safety.
- Undergraduate degree and Master of Industrial Relations or Labour Law degree or equivalent experience.
- Proven experience fostering a culture that embraces Equity, Diversity and Inclusion through the engagement of broad and diverse perspectives to enrich the working environment.
- Advanced understanding of the principles and practices of employee and labour relations, labour and employment laws, as well as collective bargaining and collective agreements.
- Superior skills in critical analysis, strategic thinking, written communication, and building effective relationships
- Demonstrated skills in successful dispute resolution and creative problem solving
Goal and achievement oriented.