SEIU Local 517M

SEIU Local 517M

Labor Relations Specialist
(Full Time)

Works primarily out of our Lansing, MI office


SEIU Local 517M is a public sector union in Michigan that represents nearly 7,000 members. The local has ten (10) full time staff and is a part of the Service Employees International Union with over 2.2 million members nationwide.

The Labor Relations Specialist works primarily out of our Lansing Office and other areas as assigned and is responsible for building the Union in the workplace by developing worksite leadership structures, identifying, recruiting, and mobilizing bargaining unit members; handling grievances, arbitrations, and disciplinary appeals; recruiting new members; supporting members in exercising political power; participating in organizing and political campaigns; and most importantly negotiating and enforcing union contracts.

The Labor Relations Specialist is also responsible for organizing new groups of workers interested in union representation and furthering the Locals goals for internal organizing and bargaining support campaigns. Responsible for preparing work plans, calendars, files, reports, and other records.

Will be required to occasionally work evenings and weekends and travel to unit locations. Not always a traditional “9 to 5” job.

Reports to the Executive Director of SEIU Local 517M


  • Oversee the administration and handling of grievances, hearings, arbitrations, and related activities.
  • Recruit and train worksite leaders to be able to handle unit grievances, communications, sign up new members, run new employee orientations, and serve in leadership roles at the worksite and/or in the Union.
  • Serve as the primary resource for worksite leaders on matters related to the contract and maintain regular and effective communication with workers in assigned units through personal visits, flyers, newsletters, phone calls, mailings, bulletin board postings, and meetings. Respond to telephone messages in a timely manner.
  • Develop worksite issues campaigns that engage the members and helps them address and resolve large systemic issues.
  • Interpret collective bargaining agreements and other relevant laws, codes, regulations, policies, and practices and assist union members in understanding their rights.
  • Aid union attorneys and other union staff in the preparation of hearings, including investigation and preparation of witnesses and exhibits.
  • Assist union members in achieving informal resolutions to work-related problems.
  • Serve as chief negotiator or back-up negotiator for assigned bargaining units.
  • Conduct bargaining surveys, salary surveys, and other research activities to strengthen the negotiating position of assigned bargaining units.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of effective industry strategies and coordinated activities to raise standards.
  • Identify significant worksite and/or departmental issues and develops strategies and tactics to effectively address them, including petitions, group grievances, work actions, media events, and legal actions.
  • Participate in and recruit members to participate in legislative and electoral campaign activities, including lobbying, phone banking, letter-writing, door-to-door canvassing, and other activities.
  • Maintain a calendar which accurately documents past, present, and future activities, visits, and appointments in connection with work as a Labor Relations Specialist.

*The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification.  They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all job duties performed by personnel so classified, nor as a guarantee that the duties described will only be performed by personnel assigned to this job description.


  • Must have general knowledge of Michigan labor laws, including PERA, MERC, and the Michigan Civil Service Rules and Regulations.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with others both verbally and in writing
  • Ability to maintain favorable relationships with unit leaders and the public.
  • Ability to maintain records, and prepare reports and correspondence related to assigned work.
  • Must be able to work with our locals’ members, staff, and elected leaders in complex and sensitive situations.
  • Must be able to conduct and perform grievance/arbitration proceedings.
  • Must be familiar with contract negotiations, permissive/mandatory/prohibited subjects of bargaining and be able to conduct proceedings.
  • Must like working with people and be comfortable with public speaking
  • Ability to exercise a high degree of judgment, initiative, and personal motivation while maintaining a high degree of confidentiality
  • Knowledge of the laws, regulations, and procedures of collective bargaining.
  • Knowledge of the procedures of dispute resolutions.
  • Knowledge of the procedures of contract negotiations.
  • Ability to analyze contract proposals, interpret laws, rules, regulations, and contract provisions/language.
  • Working knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations that impact the workplace.
  • Experience with Union contracts
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • High School Diploma
  • College Degree or equivalent work experience

Salary commensurate with experience.

Please e-mail your cover letter, résumé and the name, address, and phone number of three references to Ashley Konyha at: akonyha@seiu517m.org.

No phone calls please. This position is open until filled; however, the posting/acceptance of applications may close at any time.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.