Employee & Labor Relations

The Employee and Labor Relations function of the Human Resources Department is commonly associated with matters such as investigations, counseling and disciplinary actions, but that certainly is not its primary mission. This critical HR component operates as a nexus between staff and management, bridging gaps that oftentimes seem insurmountable to either party. Through various forms of intervention, including problem-solving, mediation, training and counseling, Labor Relations offers balanced advocacy to management and individual employees to protect their respective rights and facilitate a more harmonious work environment.

Employee & Labor Relations Processes

We are a resource to Gudra Management Consultancy staff on work-related matters and regularly meet with representatives of local bargaining units on contract issues. Our work focuses on assisting in the interpretation and application of university policies, state and federal laws and managing the collective bargaining agreements.
The Department of Employee and Labor Relations provides proactive assistance to staff, supervisors, and HR professionals regarding conflicts, University policies and procedures, and staff performance, among other issues or questions that may come up in the workplace.
Employee and Labor Relations work together to assist both employees and supervisors on the interpretation and implementation of policies, procedures, and the Staff Handbook directives, as well as investigating and responding to grievances and other complaints.

As a specialized role in the field of human resources, labor relations specialists are vital for preparing information for management to utilize during the collective bargaining process. Using their vast knowledge on economics, wage data, labor law, and collective bargaining trends, labor relations specialists interpret and administer employees’ contracts with respect to grievances, wages or salaries, employee welfare, healthcare benefits, pensions, union practices, and other stipulations. Labor relations managers often implement industrial labor relations programs to oversee compliance with the union’s negotiated contract. Since more and more companies are seeking to avoid litigation or strikes, these specialists are essential for serving as a liaison to resolve disputes between employees and management.

In the daily workday of labor relations specialists, they are typically responsible for developing labor policies, overseeing the management of industrial labor relations, negotiating collective bargaining agreements with the union, managing grievance procedures to handle complaints from unionized employees, advising the human resources staff to ensure compliance with the contract, consulting with executive management to get input into aspects of personnel policies, developing new or revised union contracts, compiling information on statistics, and maintaining records of wage and salary surveys or correspondence.


Policy Management and Interpretation

We manage content of Administrative Guide policies where the business owner is the Vice President of Human Resources, and assist employees and their managers in interpreting and applying workplace policies.See the Annual Policy Update section of the Cardinal at Work website for more information.


Resolving Workplace Issues

We support employees and their managers to address and resolve any issue that is preventing workplace effectiveness or that is in violation of the university code of conduct or other policies. See the Address a Workplace Concern section of the Cardinal at Work website for guidance.


Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining

We have an ongoing commitment and working relationships with two labor unions:

  • SEIU Local 2007 Higher Education Workers
  • Stanford Deputy Sheriffs’ Association

We work collaboratively and with mutual respects with both organizations in the areas of the university where employees have elected to have union representation.
The National Labor Relations Act is the primary legislation that governs the collective bargaining process. The National Labor Relations Board is responsible for enforcement of the Act.
See the Labor Relations & Collective Bargaining section of the Cardinal at Work website for details.


Flexible Work Arrangements Consultation

Managers work with employees and local Human Resources professionals when reviewing flexible work options, the related policies, and the factors important to consider; see the Flexible Work Arrangements section of the Cardinal at Work website in the Manage & Lead section. If needed, the local HR professional will contact Employee & Labor Relations for guidance.