Director, Employee Relations Human Resources

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Director, Employee Relations
Human Resources

Dalhousie University is Atlantic Canada’s leading research-intensive university and a driver of the region’s intellectual, social and economic development. Located in the heart of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with an Agricultural Campus in Truro/Bible Hill, Dalhousie is a truly national and international university, with more than half of our 18,500 students coming from outside of the province. Our 6,000 faculty and staff foster a vibrant, purpose-driven community, poised to celebrate 200 years of academic excellence in 2018.

Dalhousie’s Human Resources department partners with the university community to advance Dalhousie’s mission to attract, support, and reward the best faculty and staff. The Director, Employee Relations reports to the Assistant Vice-President, Human Resources and is accountable to the Vice-President Finance and Administration and the Board of Governors. The Director leads a team of HR professionals with a focus on staff labour relations and has overall responsibility for the development of strategies, policies and plans consistent with the strategic direction and goals of the university. This role works closely with partners across campus including colleagues in Human Resources, Legal Counsel’s office, Human Rights and Equity Services and Financial Services. The Director plays a key leadership role in creating a positive and effective working environment and is a role model for respect and inclusion.

Dalhousie has a large, complex workforce of more than 6000 staff and faculty. Dalhousie’s employees are organized into multiple employee groups, five of which are represented by unions.  The Director, Employee Relations has overall responsibility for the University’s relationships with 2 staff locals represented by NSGEU as well as the University’s relationships with non-unionized staff groups including grant-paid, professional, managerial and confidential clerical staff.  This critical position plays a central leadership role regarding the labour relations strategy for staff and the institution. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • As member of the senior leadership team in Human Resources, advance HR strategies and university wide initiatives
  • Supervise a team of labour relations professionals within Human Resources
  • Maintain strong relationships between the University and multiple staff employee groups
  • Act as a key institutional leader on matters regarding labour relations across all portfolios
  • Provide leadership, mentorship, and direction to University managers and other HR professionals in labour relations matters, including administering staff Collective Agreements and Handbooks
  • Lead collective bargaining processes for staff negotiations, including acting as the University spokesperson during the collective bargaining and conciliation processes
  • Lead staff grievance and arbitration processes
  • Advise leaders on personnel management solutions and organizational changes

Qualifications: Qualified candidates will possess a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (e.g. Industrial Relations or Law) plus considerable experience in a senior labour relations role demonstrating progressive accountability. An established leader, the candidate has the ability to build capacity and foster individual, team and organizational progress.  The candidate will have a demonstrated ability to develop trust and credibility with internal and external stakeholders. The successful candidate will demonstrate well-honed analytical, judgement, self-awareness and decision-making skills.  With significant experience in collective bargaining, the successful candidate will be a highly skilled negotiator with exceptional knowledge of employment legislation. Familiarity with a University setting would be a significant asset.                                

Dalhousie University supports a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Our total compensation package includes a defined benefit pension plan, health and dental plans, a health spending account, an employee and family assistance program and a tuition assistance program.

Apply online by January 27, 2017 at

Applications from university employees and external candidates are given concurrent consideration. Among short-listed candidates, university employees will be given special consideration. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Dalhousie University is committed to fostering a collegial culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. The university encourages applications from Aboriginal people, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, women, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community. For more information, please visit

Expiry Date: 
Friday, January 27, 2017