Company: City of Somerville

Job description:

The Chief Labor Counsel/Assistant City Solicitor serves as the City’s chief negotiator and representative with the City’s collective bargaining units. Negotiates, interprets and enforces collective bargaining agreements. Provide legal advice and risk management and compliance strategy to the Mayor, City Council and department heads on workplace initiatives, problem-solving, and planning.

Essential Functions:

The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

  • As the City’s chief labor negotiator, develops City’s bargaining proposals in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office, Human Resources, Finance, SomerStat and relevant department heads.
  •  Advises leadership team on labor and employee relations strategy in day-to-day matters as well as long-term organizational goals. For example, employee discipline and misconduct, workplace compliance, performance management, reorganizations, planning for workplace changes, effective workplace communication.
  • Develops effective rapport with union representatives.
  • Oversees internal investigations into employee misconduct and policy violations.
  •  As needed, represents City in grievance/arbitration hearings and before administrative agencies.
  • Conducts legal research and tracks regional trends on topics related to areas of advice.
  • Manages outside counsel handling labor and employment matters.
  • Develop, draft and review City workplace policies.
  • Proactive workplace compliance issue-spotting based on deep familiarity with City operations.
  • Appears before the Board of Aldermen on labor and employment matters, draft related ordinances and home rule petitions.

Recommended Minimum Qualifications:

Education and Experience:
Graduate of a four year college with a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree with five to ten (5-10) years related work experience; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Special Requirements:

  • Admitted to Massachusetts Bar and in good standing
  • Admitted to United States District Court Bar and in good standing
  • MA Driver’s License

Knowledge, Abilities and Skill:

  • Knowledge: Experience in municipal law and/or labor and employment law in the public sector; comprehensive understanding of the Board of Bar Overseers rules, regulations and guidelines, city charter, ordinances, state and federal laws.
  • Abilities: Demonstrated ability to solve complex, novel problems amongst competing priorities. Demonstrated ability to advise on legal risks and make recommendations. Demonstrated ability to advocate for a position amongst diverse stakeholders. Ability to present a case, examine and cross-examine witnesses and argue effectively; ability to research and analyze legal issues and apply them effectively on a practical level; ability to draft legal documents; ability to review a wide variety of circumstances, conduct investigations and make reports on same. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and professionally with elected and appointed officials, city employees and department heads. Ability to resolve legal issues in a practical, cost effective manner.
  • Skill: Excellent organizational skills; excellent data processing skill in the use of personal computers and office software including word processing, data base internet and spreadsheet applications. Excellent independent legal research skills. Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Physical and Mental Requirements:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.

Work Environment:
The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices, with occasional exposure to outside elements. Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant. Employee may be required to work beyond normal

Physical Skills:
Little or no physical demands are required to perform the work. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. There may also be some occasional lifting of objects such as books; office equipment and computer paper (up to 30 lbs.)

Motor Skills:
Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, operating a telephone system, computer and/or most other office equipment, typing and/or word processing, filing, and sorting.

Visual Skills:
Visual demands include constantly reading documents for general understanding and for analytical purposes.

Hours: Full-Time
Union: Non-Union

Job type: Full Time

Fully remote: No

Salary range: Salary Range: $119,067.54 – $163,454.22 (Typically, a new hire can expect a starting salary somewhere in the lower part of the range. Salary is commensurate based on experience and qualifications.) 

Location: Somerville Massachusetts


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