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Allison Rzen
Gordon Andersen

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Vancouver Island University
Director, Employee Relations

Ideally situated on Mid-Vancouver Island with spectacular views of the coastal mountains, Vancouver Island University is a comprehensive teaching university with 17,000 students across four campuses. VIU proudly fosters student success, strong community connections and international collaborations by providing access to a wide range of programs, from academic undergraduate and master's to industry-responsive trades and vocational training. VIU is particularly proud of its role in Aboriginal education and is dedicated to advancing student success in this area.

The Director, Employee Relations has overall responsibility for strategic planning and operational leadership across a wide range of employee and labour relations issues. As a key member of the management team, the Director, Employee Relations will collaborate with all levels of the institution and is responsible for maintaining effective working relationships with the unions and faculty association while ensuring all policies and programs are consistent with the operational goals and strategic direction of the University.

This position will represent employee relations on internal committees and institutional forums, develop strong partnerships with key stakeholders and external constituents. The Director will also be accountable for reviewing, evaluating and advising the Executive Director on matters relating to employee working conditions, labour negotiations, litigation matters and implementation strategies for labour relations policy and institutional change initiatives.

The ideal candidate brings a minimum of ten years of experience as a strategic and progressive senior labour relations practitioner with specific experience in a large multi-union public sector organization. The Director, Employee Relations will have a keen understanding of the  diverse needs of the institution and will have a track record of taking a proactive approach in creating consultative partnerships with internal and external clients, so the University’s long term goals and objectives are achieved. They will bring outstanding consensus and team-building skills and will have a history of success in achieving buy-in from stakeholders and moving best practices forward. The Director will thrive in a highly collegial, minimally-hierarchical, democratic and complex organizational structure.

In addition to fostering a positive and supportive employee relations climate, the Director will bring proven success in dispute resolution, program and policy development and essential service planning to Vancouver Island University. The individual will also advocate for the institution and be an engaged partner in building and enhancing relationships with the University’s many constituencies, external representatives and the larger community.

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