Position Profile

Job Title:  Manager, Labour Relations Research and Analysis

Work Unit:  Public Sector Working Group

Ministry:  Alberta Treasury Board and Finance

Competition Number:  1038129

Date:  September 2016

Position Summary


The Public Sector Working Group’s (PSWG) role is corporate in nature, looking across the Government’s 132 public sector employers. PSWG provides central co-ordination, oversight and support for public sector bargaining, including mandate development and monitoring of labour relations (LR) processes and outcomes as well as the development / acquisition of comprehensive labour data and analytics. With each sector and group of employers that PSWG works with, PSWG employs different techniques and supports; depending on the needs of the sector or employer and what is occurring in the collective bargaining and labour relations environment at the time. PSWG also looks across the sectors to see how one labour issue may affect other sectors positively or negatively and consult accordingly to inform the optimal collective bargaining and/or labour policy and/or legislative approach for Government’s employers.

The Manager, working with colleagues, will support, lead and/or provide expertise to internal and external clients and stakeholders on LR policy, strategy and technical research in both legislative and non-legislative areas, including interpretation / administration of the collective agreement and interpretation administration of applicable legislation, regulations and directives; as well as inter-provincial benchmarking of key LR information. Research, often from the ‘lens’ of the employer, includes best practices, consultations, legislative development strategies, environment scanning, government committees and other similar projects.

Leading project teams and initiating sharing of information of mutual interest, particularly as it relates to Alberta labour relations (LR) and negotiations, the Manager will accomplish deliverables under extreme deadlines working closely with senior level partners within PSWG and key employer stakeholders, e.g. Teachers’ Employer Bargaining Association and other government departments, e.g. Justice, Education, Health, and Alberta Health Services.

Provides corporate leadership, participates in the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of PSWG’s strategic and operational planning and emerging leadership in the publicly funded collective agreement negotiations, agreement administration and management within the context of the Treasury Board and Finance mandate.

Draft well-researched position papers, policy statements and responses for senior department and government officials that address employee / labour relations issues in a manner sensitive to corporate needs.

Represent the PSWG functional area on internal and external task forces, steering committees, work groups and other committees to contribute to an employee / labour relations focus in the results produced.

The LR Manager will work with a fair amount of independence and is expected to exercise sound judgement and independent decision making when working with external and internal contacts and stakeholders.

Specific Accountabilities


Support and/or Lead Aspects of Government’s bargaining mandate development for publicly funded employers.


  • A key team member supporting overall government involvement in provincial collective bargaining.
  • Supports all aspects of the development of the bargaining as it relates to LR/compensation/monetary related research, data analytics and recommendations on collective bargaining mandate.
  • Work with external stakeholders, e.g. Teachers’ Employer Bargaining Association and other government departments, e.g. Justice, Education, Health, and Alberta Health Services.
  • Proactively provide relevant key intelligence, strategic options, communication both via executive-level clients and high-level stakeholders.
  • Initiate timely LR related advice, analysis, technical research and data collection to support strategy development and sound bargaining positions pursued during negotiations.
  • Validate policy and other ramifications of objectives and tactics.
  • Draft well-researched position papers, policy statements and responses for senior department and government officials that address compensation/labour relations issues in a manner sensitive to corporate needs.
  • Provide strategic advice to PSWG team, for dealing with issues as they arise.
  • Provide any required post-implementation collective agreement support.

Lead the development of workforce and labour relations information within the PSWG’s organizational structure.


  • Will lead all aspects of the development of an information structure that houses LR research, data analytics, environmental scanning and trending.
  • Co-lead environmental scanning, financial costing and evaluation to inform bargaining strategies and development of a policy framework on labour relations in education.
  • Maintain, enhance and utilize networks of external and internal contacts, and monitors media, publications and internet sites to provide intelligence about relevant issues and forecast trends for policy analysis and development, legislation reviews and development, strategic planning and decision-making.
  • Develop an understanding of general labour relations in other Canadian provinces and maintain working relationships with peer level labour officials in these provinces.
  • Develop and deliver compensation and labour relations related training as required.

Support Government, Department, PSWG, and Employer Bargaining Association Initiatives.


  • Acts as a key team member on projects related to the development of labour relations policy and legislation.
  • Acts as a resource to government committees mandated to examine or review related legislation, regulations or policy. Participates on ad hoc teams and committees that may be required to prepare a large number of analytic and strategic content under very tight timelines.

Policy, Advice, Issues Management, Consultation and Relationship Building.


  • Provides strategic policy analysis and advice concerning the Alberta government’s mandate position and approach to the compensation framework, labour relations environment and workplace issues.
  • Participates in development and implementation of stakeholder and public consultations.
  • Promotes collaborative workplace relationships and approaches; is a true team player.
  • Develop strategies to improve access to reliable and current pan-Canadian LR data that is relevant to negotiations and collective bargaining.
  • Provide applied research, evaluation and policy analysis on LR professions or other issues as they emerge, and prepare required briefings and action requests in a timely manner.
  • Develop a network of provincial contacts across Canada to ensure rapid access to relevant bargaining information; and assess and evaluate information available through technical and gray literature.
  • Position provides expertise to department and government on labour relations related briefing notes and related government documents.
  • Other duties as required by management and the Executive team.

Knowledge / Experience

  • University degree in business administration, finance, human resources, labour relations or equivalent. Masters level preferred.
  • Extensive knowledge of collective agreement construction and administration; including researching arbitration precedents.
  • Extensive knowledge of labour and employment related legislation and regulation.
  • Significant in-depth related experience in labour relations, public sector compensation, development of collective bargaining mandates, issues management, and policy development.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with the Alberta economy, key industries, key trends, developments, etc.
  • Excellent understanding of workplace trends and issues, both within a labour relations context and from a broader human resources perspective.
  • Robust knowledge of human resources functions (including classification, compensation and staffing).
  • Considerable knowledge of labour and employment related legislation and regulation.
  • Considerable experience providing compensation advice to line management, interpreting and administering a collective agreement.
  • An in-depth understanding of collective agreement construction and administration.
  • Politically astute in analysis, communications and relationship development and management.
  • Solid knowledge of the agreement administration and negotiation processes in the public sector.
  • Knowledge of policy analysis framework necessary for the development of policy recommendations, actions plans, implementation strategies, to support PSWG’s LR function.
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation, policies, programs and business and strategic planning processes within the GoA, or business / labour environment.
  • Awareness of government decision-making and policy development process and procedures, including public consultation processes and legislative/committee processes.
  • Maintaining knowledge of best practices in LR and compensation is essential.


  • Strategic thinking and planning.
  • Strong capacity for strategic analysis of compensation trends, events and developments in a proactive fashion within the branch, division, department and government. Can perform integrative analysis: making sense of large amounts of often complex and confusing information, i.e. providing succinct “bottom line analysis” under tight deadlines.
  • Strategic and political acumen including the ability to exercise independent judgement, and act proactively “before it hits” is a must.
  • Must have the ability to work and contribute effective in a team environment, with diverse populations.
  • Operational experience of the principles of collaborative practice, team development, skills and knowledge transfer.
  • Research, analytical, and problem solving skills. Understand, use and recommend research methodologies.
  • Solutions and results orientated.
  • Strong empathetic listening skills, written and oral communication and presentation skills.
  • Consultation, facilitation, and issue resolution skills.
  • Organization, coordination, and project management skills.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills to support functional, effective teams often dealing with sensitive policy issues; manage team dynamics.
  • Ability to simultaneously manage a wide variety of assignments towards achieving the PSWG’s / Treasury Board and Finance’s mission, vision and values.
  • Political and organizational sensitivity and awareness and effective diplomatic skills, including the ability to represent department / interests in potentially challenging environments.

Leadership and Business Know-How

  • The position is a leader in developing and applying LR related knowledge to the publicly funded employer relations bargaining environment.
  • Position provides leadership in developing solutions to complex issues, helping to set direction and fulfill the mandate of the PSWG team and Department.
  • May directly interact with union officials to identify issues, gather information, answer questions and discuss shared issues in the effective and efficient management of Alberta’s unionized staff.
  • May supervises staff who provide data analytics and research support to prepare for and during negotiations.
  • Participate in internal and external task forces and committees representing the compensation functional area, both current structures and planned.
  • This position, in positive collaboration with the PSWG, will support active collective bargaining across multiple sectors.
  • Must be able to quickly establish rapport and credibility with all parties PSWG’s works with, is key.
  • Self-directed learner with a strong desire for continuous learning and professional development.

Problem Solving

  • Interpretation of key collective agreements.
  • Position entails considerable problem-solving skills (e.g. analyzing, reasoning, creating, evaluation, etc.); in particular to the development of a LR, workforce trends, and labour policy information.
  • Position is responsible for producing high level briefings, policy statements, analysis, including pros and cons or risk assessments, and also must ensure that “substantial” data, research, and background materials are prepared and available, often under very tight deadlines and heavy workload.
  • Position requires significant problem solving skills; negotiating terms and conditions of employment in letters of understanding or the collective agreement itself.
  • This position is required to provide advice and information on critical LR relations matters and may be required to provide briefings under tight timelines. This requires extensive intelligence gathering and the provisions of accurate, objective responses, including options, pros and cons, and recommendations.
  • This role provides analysis and a recommended course of action to influence contractual negotiations and relationship building between staff and employer representative groups. The role requires an in-depth awareness and understanding of labour trends and issues, particularly emerging paradigms that influence and govern relationships between employers and employees. The role also requires a deep understanding of the complex interaction among employer/employee relationships, organizational culture, and professional roles, responsibilities and aspirations.
  • The role also requires expertise in relationship building with employer and employee groups, identification and monitoring of education sector workforce labour trends and issues, evaluation of collective agreements, and formulating recommendations related to policy and governance.

Relationships / Contacts

Clients Frequency Nature and Purpose of Contact

Executive Team (Chief Advisor on Negotiations, Negotiators, Executive Director)


Assignments, reporting, advice, strategizing.

Director, Analysts


Seek/provide advice and information; project team work.

Other Divisional Professional Staff

Daily/weekly Information sharing (e.g. Bargaining, project management).

Policy and Legislative Services

Frequent Coordination of legislative / regulatory change, development and coordination of legal / LR opinion requests.

Strategic Financial Services

Frequent Understanding of finance and funding formulas as it relates to collective bargaining and mandate development.

Other Directors / Divisions

Occasional Collaborate on policy advice and recommendations.

Deputy Minister's Office

Occasional Provide policy and strategic advice / recommendations, as required.

Key industry and labour stakeholders:
Examples - Employer Groups in the Health, Education, Post-Secondary Institutes, Alberta Health Services and K-12 Teaching Sector

Frequently Networking; consultations (when appropriate).
Other Government Ministries Regular Provide and receive advice.

Impact and Magnitude of Job (Scope)

  • This position has an internal and external focus with respect to the negotiated labour agreements which are publicly funded.
  • Position affects both unionized and non-unionized Alberta workplaces by directly affecting workers, employers. Also affects government stakeholders in other departments with a stake in labour relations (e.g. Alberta Health, Alberta Public Service). Particular initiatives may have more immediate impact on specific industries or client groups.
  • Work performed can also affect Executive Council senior leadership due to the sensitive and controversial nature of the labour relations environment.
  • The policies and outcomes of the work of this position may have a direct impact on all publicly funded employees in Alberta.

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