• Full Time
  • Denver
  • Depends on Qualifications

Website State of Colorado - Department of Personnel & Administration

The Department of Personnel & Administration is looking for a labor relations professional committed to equity and collaborative partnerships who is ready to take public service to the next level as the state’s first Chief Negotiator! If bringing passion and purpose to your work is something you live for, take a look at this unique opportunity to make a true impact for our state.

The Chief Negotiator, under administrative direction, represents the State of Colorado as a chief spokesperson in the negotiation and resource person in the administration of labor contracts between the state and state employee labor organization pursuant to the Colorado Partnership for Quality Jobs and Services Act.  This key role will foster collaborative relationships that support statewide labor relations strategy with the goal of achieving the state’s commitment to being an Employer of Choice, and support equitable treatment of all state employees.  This position will lead the labor relations team, and is responsible for the unit’s budget while ensuring that contract negotiations, contract administration, union relationships, grievance processes, organizing responses, educational development, and the business and operational needs of the state are met.  The person we select will evaluate labor strategies to optimize opportunities for partnership with the union, mitigate risks of disruption, and maintain commitment to positive employee relations.

The goal of the Labor Relations unit is to promote the development and growth of collaborative Labor-Management relationships, and provide accurate and comprehensive guidance that will empower Management to make informed decisions as labor challenges arise.  The unit provides expert advice, technical guidance, training, and policy to the state.  Through various forms of intervention including negotiations, problem solving, mediation, training and counseling, the unit offers balanced advocacy to management and individual employees to protect their rights and facilitate a more harmonious work environment.

What We Do

The Division of Human Resources (DHR) provides centralized human resources for the State of Colorado. DHR is responsible for the oversight of all state agency human resources functions and total compensation including maintaining the statewide employment, job evaluation and pay systems. Additionally, the Division is responsible for the self-funded benefits system including health, life, dental and deferred compensation for 38,000 eligible employees covering 44,000 lives and the state’s business risk and loss control programs including all property insurance, liability and worker’s compensation. The newly formed Labor Relations unit will be part of DHR.

The Department of Personnel & Administration (DPA) delivers the operational infrastructure on which state government functions. The programs and services provided by DPA are vital to the efficient operation of state government and customer service is the primary goal of each of DPA’s divisions. Our customer base includes other state agencies, state employees, and the public.  DPA requires a team that is dedicated to building and sustaining public confidence in effective and efficient government.

Why We Want You:

We want your expertise, positive energy, drive to succeed, and love of this great state as we work to elevate the expectations Coloradans have of their government.

What You’ll Get From Us:

At DPA you will find an opportunity to contribute meaningful work to support and serve Colorado. It’s your chance to combine your expertise with public service.  The department employs a wide variety of trade and professional disciplines, which allows for long-term career growth. In return for the skilled work you do, DPA provides a highly competitive compensation and benefits package to accompany employment opportunities.

Among the benefits offered are:

  • Strong, yet flexible retirement benefits including PERA Defined Benefit Plan, PERA Defined Contribution Plan plus 401K and 457 plans
  • Medical and dental health plans
  • Paid life insurance
  • Automatic short-term (and optional long-term) disability coverage
  • 10 paid holidays per year plus generous annual and sick leave
  • ECO PASS offered at a reduced cost (in some locations)
  • Excellent work-life programs, such as flexible work schedules, training opportunities and more

Visit DPA’s website to watch the Benefits Overview video for details on the benefits offered to employees and to learn about the State’s Employee Value Proposition.

If your goal is to build a career that makes a difference and build greater public confidence in good government, consider joining the dedicated people of the State of Colorado. Our professionals strive to support state government and the citizens of Colorado. Customer service is a key component for every position in state government as is the focus on ideas and ways to redesign the delivery of services in making state government more:

Our Core Values:

At DPA, we recognize that how we deliver is as important as what we deliver. Our core values define our character and guide us in how we interact with one another and our customers. Because it is important that we embody service, teamwork, integrity, responsiveness, and transparency in everything we do, our core values are incorporated into every employee’s annual performance plan.

Service – Being helpful, useful, timely, and efficient in our actions, results, and communications

Teamwork – Collaborating with and empowering each other to achieve success

Integrity – Being honest and fair in our work and relationships

Responsiveness – Engaging and following through in a way that promotes respect, energy, creativity, and adaptability

Transparency – Operating with accountability, clarity, and ethics in a way that builds and sustains trust

Good Government Starts Here!

Because this is non-classified, no waiver is needed and residency does not apply, though an out of state candidate would need to relocate and reside in Colorado.

Description of Job

Among other essential duties, the candidate we select will:

  • Provide strategic program leadership to deliver results including serving as a strategic business partner for the Human Resources community throughout state government, conduct ongoing needs assessments to ascertain the goals and objectives of the customers; develop annual unit goals and objectives aligned with the needs of the customers and develop and implement use of key performance indicators for Labor Relations functions within state government.
  • Work with subject matter professionals in key areas of labor relations to define critical gaps in capability, design a recommended future state, and outline an implementation strategy with the mindset of continuous improvement. Support the development and delivery of training in labor relations concepts.
  • Plan and develop workload and processes of the Labor Relations unit to implement strategic policy direction, initiatives and goals as determined by management.
  • Manage and oversee all aspects of the new Labor Relations Unit ultimately overseeing up to 8 individuals. Lead the creation and on-going implementation of long-term strategic plan for the Labor Relations unit that meets the current and future needs of the state including, but not limited to, strategy and goals for labor relations, statewide contract negotiations (partnership agreements), grievance process, and an integrated communications plan to communicate with employees, HRDs, and other partners. Serves as an expert in labor relations providing advice and consultation to internal clients, including HR and operations department/agency leaders in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Maintains necessary liaison through designated administrative officials with the State Governor’s office, the State Personnel Director, and the State Attorney General’s office to ensure the effective sharing of information and coordination of activities pertinent to labor management relations.

Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights

*A Human Resources Analyst will only review the work experience/job duties sections of the online job application to determine whether you meet the minimum qualifications for the position for which you are applying. Cover letters and resumes WILL NOT be accepted in lieu of the official State of Colorado online application, but may be attached. Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications to continue in the selection process for this position. Work experience and qualifications must be specifically documented on your online application. Do not use “see resume” or “see attached” statements on your application. Resumes WILL NOT be reviewed for minimum qualification screening.


Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in Labor/Industrial Relations, Human Resource Management, Personnel Administration, or Business/Public Administration, or a closely related field, and at least six years of professional experience in contract negotiation, and grievance management, two of which must have included experience with public or business administration, establishing goals and objectives, as well as developing and managing a budget to achieve program goals and objectives, and one of which must have included experience representing management as a spokesperson in the negotiation of labor agreements.


Special Qualifications – Extensive knowledge of Labor and Employee Relations including, but not limited to, principles, practices, and procedures sufficient to analyze problems and propose course of action in the areas of contract development and administration.


Additional appropriate experience will substitute for the degree requirement on a year-for-year basis.

Additional appropriate education will substitute for the required general experience on a year-for-year basis, but not the required years of specific experience.

The Exceptional Candidate will demonstrate competency in the following areas:

  • Expert knowledge and experience of the collective bargaining process with a reputation of being fair, exercising a high level of tact, good judgment, discretion, diplomacy and valuing the diversity of people and their experience.
  • Knowledge of federal and state laws and regulation, specifically those related to collective bargaining.
  • Consulting skills a must, including critical thinking, managing change, dealing with ambiguity and persuading decisions on behalf of the organization.
  • Expert understanding of customers and their needs, demonstrating professionalism while providing exceptional customer service.
  • Expert commitment to ethics, honesty, integrity and credibility. Expert ability to handle confidential, sensitive and critical issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to inspire creativity and innovations as evidenced by planning and implementation of labor relations programs and strategies that further the achievement of organization goals.
  • Strong capability to partner and build credibility with HR and business leaders.
  • Ability to drive projects/issues to completion.
  • Exceptional communication skills which include the ability to adapt verbal and written communication style, both formal and informal, to various situations and all levels within the organization.
  • Ability to relate well and cooperate with others to effectively coordinate activities and accomplish goals.
  • Ability to effectively facilitate meetings, present information and respond to questions from groups of managers and leaders, HR community, members, non-members.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently identify and analyze issues and develop appropriate solutions and plans of action.
  • Solid ability to negotiate and ability to clearly present ideas to influence outcomes.
  • Effective project management skills and ability to manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously including team collaboration.
  • Strong organization, prioritization and self-motivation skills demonstrating a strong work ethic and accomplishes job assignments in a timely manner setting enhanced objectives for self.
  • Solid facilitation skills.
  • Experience analyzing trends and metrics to develop solutions, programs and policies.
  • Strong organizational and planning skills; attention to detail; productive without compromising quality.
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines and adapt to changing priorities.
  • Effective interpersonal and relationship building skills with all levels of the organization.
  • Fluency in Google, Microsoft Office Suite (Access, Excel, Word, and Outlook), and ability to quickly learn and apply other software.

Conditions of Employment:

  • A pre-employment criminal background check will be conducted as part of the selection process.
  • Travel – This position is required to travel to agencies statewide for meetings and trainings.
  • Infrequent weekend and after hours work may be required.

APPEAL RIGHTS: Not Applicable

This announcement is not governed by the selection processes of the classified personnel system.

Supplemental Information

The State of Colorado believes that equity, diversity, and inclusion drive our success, and we encourage candidates from all identities, backgrounds, and abilities to apply. The State of Colorado is an equal opportunity employer committed to building inclusive, innovative work environments with employees who reflect our communities and enthusiastically serve them. Therefore, in all aspects of the employment process, we provide employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, medical condition related to pregnancy, creed, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, or military status (with preference given to military veterans), or any other protected status in accordance with applicable law.

Department of Personnel & Administration is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, our agency will assist individuals who have a disability with any reasonable accommodation requests related to employment, including completing the application process, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, participating in the employee selection process, and/or to perform essential job functions where the requested accommodation does not impose an undue hardship. If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodation to ensure you have a positive experience applying or interviewing for this position, please direct your inquiries to our ADAAA Coordinator, Ome Enebeli, at ome.enebeli@state.co.us or call 303-866-4368

To apply for this job please visit www.governmentjobs.com.