Employee and Labor Relations Manager

City of Hillsboro, OR | Full-time


The Position

Reporting to the Human Resources Director, the Employee and Labor Relations Manager is an integral member of a talented and dedicated full-service Human Resources team. This position is a working manager and trusted advisor that delivers direct leadership to all employee and labor relations functions and prioritizes equitable, collaborative solutions that support the interests of employees and the City. The Manager identifies relevant operational issues and analyzes highly complex issues related to contract or policy interpretation in situations for which there may be no precedent. The Employee and Labor Relations Manager supervises a Management Analyst and actively mentors and shares knowledge with the team while serving as a resource to other managers and employees. The Manager collaborates with colleagues to cultivate an inclusive culture and equitable outcomes for employees who provide exceptional services to the Hillsboro community.

The Employee and Labor Relations Manager leads management’s negotiation team in mid-term or successor agreement negotiations with our current Police and Fire & Rescue labor partners and our new Library labor partner. The Manager conducts investigations regarding harassment, discrimination, retaliation, ethics, EEO complaints, and other possible policy violations and helps implement recommended actions. This position prepares policy briefing documents and drafts a variety of critical documents related to performance and conduct management, investigations, contract administration, and policies. The Employee and Labor Relations Manager advises management on investigations, corrective action, grievances, conflict resolution, and arbitration processes and actively partners with the employment attorney, department director, and manager/supervisor during workplace investigations.


  • Develop and implement a proactive employee and labor relations outreach program to engage and build positive relationships with all employees, managers, and supervisors. Build an engagement strategy to identify concerns, determine needs, and clarify expectations in order to continually meet the needs of employees.
  • Develop and implement a negotiation strategy that includes a proactive communication strategy to obtain input and direction, build trust, and maintain respectful, positive, productive labor relations.
  • Partner with the Human Resources Director to prepare for and actively engage in negotiations for the June 2022 contract renewals for Police and Fire & Rescue.
  • Collaborate with Library leadership to educate, support, and ultimately guide the team through the new AFSCME relationship. Ensure positive labor relations and engage in good faith and successful contract negotiations for the first time.
  • Operationalize equity in the employee and labor relations program and contribute towards a culture where all staff can bring their genuine and authentic selves and thrive in a safe and welcoming workplace.
  • Ensure internal connectivity between all human resources functions, support shared goals, and identify opportunities for collaboration. Support the culture of innovation and continuous improvement by partnering with colleagues to create growth and development opportunities for the City’s diverse workforce.

The Successful Candidate

The Employee and Labor Relations Manager believes that people are the single most important asset to any organization and is committed to pursuing equitable, creative, and thoughtful solutions for all employees. The successful candidate enjoys guiding, coaching, and empowering managers to facilitate positive employee relations and contribute to a welcoming and inclusive culture. The Manager has a history of developing positive relationships, cultivates an environment of respect, and champions a work culture where all voices, especially underrepresented employees, are heard and supported.

Known as a systems thinker, the successful candidate brings proven expertise in labor and employee relations and effortlessly balances strategy with empathy. The Employee and Labor Relations Manager embraces the role of subject matter expert, maintaining an understanding of the issues affecting the City and leveraging that knowledge to drive decisions that positively impact the City, support Council goals, and meet the needs of employees. The successful candidate has proven expertise as a policy and contract manager, negotiator, and consultant in employee and labor relations matters. In addition, the ideal candidate has prior experience in one or more human resources functions such as recruitment and retention, classification and compensation, benefits and leave, or learning and development and embraces collaborating with peer colleagues in each of these areas.

The Employee and Labor Relations Manager collaborates to develop a workplace culture centered around equitable and inclusive outcomes. The successful candidate is an active listener that values honesty and integrity and believes in effective communication and proactively keeping others well informed. The ideal candidate is confident yet humble and diplomatic, with a willingness to push back as needed. The Employee and Labor Relations Manager has a proven ability to make judgment calls and sound, ethical decisions displaying a heightened level of responsibility, confidentiality, integrity, and professionalism. The ideal candidate is fair, establishes clear expectations, and holds others accountable. With strong emotional intelligence, the successful candidate represents Hillsboro with integrity and effectively advocates for employees while considering the financial, legal, and cultural impacts to the City.


Five or more years related professional experience in Human Resources, specifically Employee and Labor Relations, including two years of supervisory experience. Cultural competency, exceptional interpersonal skills, and the ability to effectively communicate and build trusting, productive relationships with stakeholders of a variety of diversity dimensions are essential. Proven and extensive experience in contract negotiations and administration, EEO investigations, performance management, corrective action, workplace conflict resolution, mediation/arbitration, and policy interpretation are essential. Advanced knowledge of applicable state, federal, and labor law regulations related to HR and Employee and Labor Relations, including PECBA, EEO, FMLA/OFLA, and ADA, is ideal.

A bachelor’s degree in business administration, psychology, human resources, public administration or a closely related field or any combination of education and experience that gives the applicant the skills/knowledge and abilities to successfully perform the job.

Inside The Organization

While Hillsboro greatly respects tradition, they are not your traditional City government. Hillsboro is a financially conservative yet innovative and forward-thinking, full-service City. The City takes pride in having an open, entrepreneurial, and cooperative approach toward serving residents, businesses, and community partners. Success means working together to provide excellent municipal services and plan for a bright future for Hillsboro.

The City operates under a Council-Manager form of government, and administrative functions are carried out by the City Manager and manager-appointed staff. With an FY 2021-22 adopted budget of $899 Million, the City of Hillsboro is served by 809 full-time and 379 part-time/temporary employees who work in 12 City departments: the City Manager’s Office, Community Development, Economic Development, Finance, Fire & Rescue, Human Resources, Information Services, Library, Parks & Recreation, Police, Public Works, and Water.

Like the community members they serve, City of Hillsboro employees are passionate about fostering a culturally inclusive community. The City promotes mutual respect and appreciation, recognizing that the diversity of people’s backgrounds, perspectives, and lived experiences enriches the community and makes Hillsboro stronger – and more interesting. Fostering a welcoming and thriving environment for all who live, work, and play in Hillsboro elevates the community’s cultural fabric, economic growth, global competitiveness, and overall prosperity.

Employees at the City of Hillsboro are expected to exemplify these Core Values:

  • Excellence in Public Services
  • Responsiveness in Customer Service
  • Respect for Diverse Voices and Ideas
  • Tradition of Reliability
  • Stewardship of the Public Trust
  • Leadership with Ethics and Integrity
  • Culture of Teamwork and Communication
  • Emphasis on Innovation

Inside the Human Resources Department

The mission of the Human Resources Department is to create a culture of collaborative, compassionate, equitable solutions for the benefit of our employees and community. Through this mission, the City and its employees can thrive and deliver the highest quality municipal services to community members.

The Human Resources Department serves as a strategic resource to all City employees and departments of the City of Hillsboro in relation to the City’s workforce. The primary services provided by Human Resources include Employee and Labor Relations, Recruitment and Selection, Workforce Development, Classification and Compensation, Employee Benefits & Leave Administration, Learning & Development, Personnel Policy Development, Performance Management, and Risk Management. With a budget of just over $8 Million and a staff of 20, the Human Resources Department is responsible for hiring talented, passionate, and creative professionals, keeping them safe and engaged, administering compensation and benefits, coordinating citywide training efforts, developing community youth, personnel policies, and managing performance.

The Community

Hillsboro has a steadily growing population of over 104,000 residents. It is the largest city in Washington County and serves as the county seat. During the workday, more than 50,000 employees commute to Hillsboro by car, bicycle, bus, or light rail train to work at companies such as Intel, Nike, and Genentech. With its thriving economy, Hillsboro is the home of Oregon’s fourth-largest school district, two higher-education campuses, and 28 parks with more than 1,500 acres of designated green spaces, including Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve and the Orenco Woods Nature Park.

Known as a progressive and visionary organization, the City of Hillsboro enjoys a reputation for excellence in its long-term strategic and fiscal planning. The City welcomes and values each resident, business, and guest by providing exceptional and equitable public services. Like the residents they serve, City of Hillsboro employees are passionate about fostering a culturally inclusive community. Annual community events include the Oregon International Air Show, the Hillsboro Latino Cultural Festival, and one of the largest Fourth of July parades in the Northwest. 

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range is $94,619 – $124,513, depending on qualifications. For a complete list of the City’s extensive Benefit Package, please visit Hillsboro-Oregon.gov/Benefits

How to Apply

Hiring a workforce that reflects the diverse community we serve is essential to delivering exceptional City services and programs. The City of Hillsboro is committed to creating and supporting an inclusive and welcoming environment for all employees to thrive. We value, respect, and empower employees as unique individuals with authentic voices and diverse ideas.

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. The position is open until filled with the first review of applications on August 15, 2021.


For more information or questions regarding the City of Hillsboro and the Employee and Labor Relations Manager position, please contact Heather Gantz at hgantz@thenovakconsultinggroup.com.

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