Director Labour and Employee Relations (RFT 1.0)

Leadership Roles Hybrid Remote, Halifax, Nova Scotia Sydney, Nova Scotia Stellarton, Nova Scotia New Minas, Nova Scotia Regular, Full-Time ReqID: 38874


Position at VON Canada

Requisition Details:

Employment Status: Regular, Full Time (1.0 FTE)
Program Name: Labour Relations
Number of Hours Bi-Weekly: 75
Work Schedule: Days
Location: Candidate must reside in Nova Scotia. This position is hybrid-remote and requires travel to VON sites in Nova Scotia.

About Us:

VON is a non-profit organization that provides clinical, personal, and social support to people who want to live every day to the fullest while remaining in their own homes and communities.


The Director of Labour and Employee Relations (“Director”) manages a provincial professional Human Resources team of Labour and Employee Relations Officers, Labour and Employee Relations Advisor and Labour and Employee Relations Coordinator in the execution of the VON Labour and Employee Relations Strategy. In addition, the Director manages a broad range of day to day labour and employee relations issues and provides guidance to the provincial Labour and Employee Relations team to ensure compliance with VON policy and legislative standards. The Director is a subject matter expert and leader in Labour and Employee Relations.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Support Corporate Services and Operational leaders in identification and prioritization of current and future pivotal/core needs relating to Labour and Employee relations issues to create strategic organizational response in collaboration with the Senior Director of Labour and Employee Relations.
  • Advise stakeholders on issues relating to labour and employee relations in accordance with the labour and employee relations strategy.
  • Provincial labour/employee relations lead for all issues ranging from interpretation to arbitration management. The Director makes decisions and provides direction with respect to labour/employment issues consistent with the Labour and Employee Relations strategy and legislation including employment standards, human rights and terminations.
  • Provide expert guidance and advice on issues involving human resources and employee relations, collective agreements (negotiation, information, interpretation, and application), performance matters, workplace investigations, grievances, complaints and arbitration issues, organizational change, labour relations-related legislation and regulations, etc.
  • Oversees the implementation and administration of collective agreements to ensure consistent compliance, interpretation and resolution of grievances.
  • Manage, lead, coach and mentor a team of Labour and Employee Relations professionals in the execution of the Labour and Employee Relations Strategy.
  • Maintain knowledge of current legislative requirements and ensures that VON is aware of these requirements and make recommendations to ensure compliance.
  • Participate in budget development and monitor cost implications related to Labour and Employee Relations.
  • Accountable for budget management including department expenditures.
  • Develop and analyze metrics for internal stakeholders as part of reporting to the Senior Management Team, HR committee of the Board, Operations Teams and others in collaboration with the Senior Director of Labour and Employee Relations.
  • Direct, guide and coach management on dealing with difficult union/non-union staff interaction and situations.
  • Provide advice and coaching to ensure accurate and relevant organizational reporting as pertaining to labour and employee relations to managers and senior managers daily and Regional Executive Directors as applicable.
  • Lead and support projects related to the Human Resources and organizational initiatives.
  • Participate on quality teams and in quality initiatives.
    Investigate and resolve internal/external complaints in a timely manner.
  • Oversee and support Operations in the successful implementation of the regional labour relations strategy and the achievement of local labour outcomes through the development of positive relationships with unions and ensuring compliance with Collective Agreements.
  • Manage and oversee any required preparation for the development of Collective Bargaining proposals and completing any essential background research including necessary financial mandate analysis.
  • Support and identify changes to system configuration and internal processes resulting from ratification of collective agreements, legislative requirements or compliance with VON policies.
  • Manages external vendor contracts for the provision of labour and employee relations services.
  • Directs and manages contracted resources to both lead applicable negotiations.
  • Manage and oversee the development of bargaining strategies in collaboration with the Senior Director of Labour and Employee Relations, Regional Executive Director and Managers at multiple provincial VON sites.
  • Oversee the implementation of collective agreement changes to ensure consistent compliance, interpretation, system configuration and information sessions
  • Chief labour/employee negotiator for a select group of collective agreements.
  • Manage and oversee grievances forwarded to arbitration by working with the Senior Director of Labour and Employee Relations and/or outside counsel as required in developing a resolution strategy and ensuring its compliance.
  • Liaise with external counsel when attending arbitration by providing any required documents, disclosure requests or other requests to assist in discussion.
  • Develop and maintain VON policies, standards and best practices as they relate to labour and employee relations, ensuring they align with legislated standards.
  • Manage and oversee all legislative (including Human Rights and Labour Standards) and policy complaints and provide guidance/advice to Labour and Employee Relations Officers to manage/resolve issues.
    Review all legislative complaints by working with the required stakeholders or external counsel when required.
  • Advise and update the Senior Director of Labour and Employee Relations on all complaints and resolution recommendations.

Education, Designations and Experience:

  • University Degree in Human Resources Management or related field, or equivalent.
  • A minimum of 8 years of progressive labour relations experience at a senior level plus 3 years’ experience at a management level.
  • Knowledge of labour/management principles, provincial employment law, Human Rights, statutes and the Labour Relations Board processes and collective agreement administration is required.
  • Experience leading collective bargaining, contract administration and interpretation.
  • Familiarity with provincial labour regulations, collective agreements, provincial worker compensation legislation and practice, and various labour organizations.
  • Strong background in employee and labour relations in a multi-unionized environment.
  • Thorough knowledge of HR principles and applicable laws and regulations.

Skill Requirements:

  • Strong communication and influencing skills and the ability to work successfully with all levels of the organization.
  • Ability to work in a fast paced multi-union environment meeting multiple demands and changing priorities.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a team player.
  • Ability to effectively handle multiple priorities simultaneously.
  • Ability to communicate well across all levels of the organization.
  • Ability to quickly build rapport, confidence and trust of peers, employees and executives.
  • Ability to analyze, select and present solutions in a high-quality, highly effective and acceptable  format.
  • Highly collaborative.
  • Strong business acumen, flexibility, commitment and performance standards. 


  • A current and original satisfactory Criminal Records Check is required upon the start of your employment
  • A Vulnerable Sector Search and/or Child Abuse Registry Check may be required
  • Travel, overtime and irregular work schedules as required. 

What we can offer you:

  • Competitive salaries and vacation time
  • Tiered Benefits (health, dental, LTD) & an Employee Assistance Program
  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan with company contribution
  • Opportunity to use your skills and expand your knowledge
  • The opportunity to make a difference in home and community healthcare
  • Work with an organization that is over 125 years strong

Work Conditions and Physical Capabilities: fast-paced environment; attention to detail; lift and carry using appropriate lifting techniques; walk, sit, stand, and climb stairs; grip and fine hand movements.

VON Canada is committed to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities and to providing accessibility accommodations for candidates who require them. If you require accessibility support, please visit our website at for further details.

VON Canada is committed to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities and to providing accessibility accommodations for candidates who require them. If you are in need of accessibility support, please visit our website at for further details.

VON Canada is committed to embracing and celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion (EDI) as fundamental to living out our values of Respect, Compassion, and Excellence in all that we do.