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Manager, Labour Relations - Full Time - Hybrid - BC

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Date: Aug 4, 2022

Location: Burnaby, BC, CA

Company: LifeLabs

LifeLabs is the largest community diagnostics laboratory in Canada, serving the healthcare needs of Canadians for over 50 years. Our team members are truly centred around our customers, and we know that behind every lab requisition, sample being tested, or investment in technology is an individual and their family counting on us.


Consistently named one of Canada's Best Employers by Forbes, LifeLabs has also been recognized for having an award-winning Mental Health Program from Benefits Canada. The passion and commitment of over 6,000 diverse and innovative team members unites and motivates us to ensure our customers receive high quality tests and results that they can trust.  Agile, customer-centred, caring and teamwork: we live these values every day in what we do to support our customers and healthcare providers, driving forward our vision of empowering a healthier you.


Make a difference – join the LifeLabs team today!

This is an exciting time to join our Human Resources team and have a positive impact supporting strategic business outcomes. As the Canadian Healthcare landscape continues to evolve, LifeLabs is positioned to leverage its core, while selectively growing through diversification, acquisition, and governments’ focus on community-based healthcare services.


The Opportunity 


The Manager, Labour Relations position is an excellent opportunity to get involved with a full spectrum of labour relations challenges and opportunities and to partner with business leaders and HR to support the development and implementation of a progressive labour relations strategy for LifeLabs.     


From mandate development to negotiations to implementation of collective agreements, the Manager, Labour Relations will be involved with the full collective agreement process.  In addition, the Manager, Labour Relations is also a subject matter expert and trusted advisor to business leaders and HR in the application, interpretation, and implementation of collective agreements across LifeLabs and leads the analysis and planning for addressing complicated grievances and arbitrations.   
As a critical part of the LifeLabs Employee and Labour Relations COE, the Manager Labour Relations is responsible for developing communication, learning, tools and guidelines for HR and People Leaders to support the overall strategy and will be responsible for maintaining, building and fostering effective relations with the Unions through leadership of Employee and Labour Councils. 
The ideal candidate is a relationship builder and dynamic communicator who brings their experience in Labour Relations, analytical mind, business acumen and proactive manner to build a progressive approach to Employee and Labour Relations for LifeLabs. 


Labour Relations Strategy and Planning

  • Monitor external market trends, build comparison to hospitals and other competitors and integrate into LR strategy, as required. 
  • Prepare and present reports summarizing developments in collective bargaining, workforce initiatives, grievance and arbitration performance; identify trends, consider broad implications and potential risks across all parts of the workforce and make recommendations.


Union Relations

  • Key liaison with local Unions; ensuring communication channels are permanently open and that issues are addressed in a timely and adequately manner.
  • Develop strategies to strengthen communication and partnering with Unions. Develop and report out on metrics to measure strength of relationship. 
  • Lead planning and implementation of Employee and Labour Councils and involve business leaders and HR appropriately


Collective Bargaining Preparation, Planning and Negotiation

  • Involved with the collective bargaining process from mandate development to agreement implementation, including negotiation.
  • Lead development of communication to provide updates from the negotiation process to leadership.
  • Lead the organization’s efforts to respond to union certification drives


Labour Relations Subject Matter Expert

  • Provide labour relations expertise and advice to business and human resources in addressing initiatives with possible LR impact; advise leaders on risks and provide strategic recommendations that apply business objectives and human resources best practices to address labour relations issues
  • SME for all Collective Agreements ensuring understanding and consistent interpretation 


Grievance and Arbitration Management

  • Develop and implement tracking of grievances, arbitrations and ER issues; proactively identify trends, implement metrics and develop and implement reporting and/or dashboards for senior leaders to inform, proactive program development and ris mitigation.
  • Lead and develop a grievance management process ensuring alignment in approach and tactics and consistency across HR team. 
  • Develop investigation tools, training and processes in partnership with Legal to be utilized by the ER/LR operations team and ensure effective application.


Labour Relations Training and Communication 

  • Collaborate with the LifeLabs Talent Leader to design and implement initiatives that provide managers with the skills and tools necessary to effectively manage in a unionized environment. 
  • Identify needs for communication and/or training/education to People Leaders and develop solutions
  • Develop and coach Business HR and HR Operations to deliver training/education to People Leaders


Education, Skills and Experience 

  • Minimum 7 years experience in Labour Relations within a medium to large employer
  • University degree, with specialization in Industrial/Labour Relations 
  • Expert conflict/alternative dispute resolution skills. Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate preferred
  • Experience in leading union negotiations, chairing grievance meetings, and preparing cases for arbitrations
  • Solid knowledge of Human Resources policies and procedures, and employment-related legislation
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct data analysis (cost/benefit), interpret information, resolve complex issues and prepare recommendations and proposals that support business objectives; 
  • Strong problem-solving skills with ability to apply sound judgement
  • Strong communication and business writing skills


At LifeLabs, we strive to create an inclusive and equitable workplace where our team members and the communities we serve feel accepted, valued, and respected.


In accordance with LifeLabs’ Accessibility Policy, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and the Ontario Human Rights Code, accommodations are available by request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the recruitment and selection process. For a confidential inquiry or to request an accommodation, please contact your recruiter or email


LifeLabs is committed to providing a safe environment for our employees, customers, and the communities we serve. We have been a leader throughout the COVID-19 pandemic regarding health and safety measures and have always put our employees and customers at the center of every decision that we make. As an organization in the health care sector, we believe the COVID vaccination adds a layer of protection that complements the extensive and necessary health and safety protocols that we have taken to date. With this in mind, we currently require all LifeLabs employees, contractors, students and volunteers to be fully vaccinated.


LifeLabs operates under a distributed workforce model, where employee flexibility is a key priority. Further information will be provided during the interview process on what this means for employees.

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