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Job Description

SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF CLASSIFICATION: Under direction of the chief operating officer, coordinates all labor relations activities involving certificated, classified/support staff and non-represented units. The Lead Negotiator leads and directs the critical functions of labor relations and collective bargaining for the certificated and classified units. Responsible for negotiating and interpreting collective bargaining agreements. Collaborates with the Montgomery County Board of Education (Board), executive leadership staff, and association leaders to implement and manage agreements. The Lead Negotiator works collaboratively with association leaders to improve and align labor relations with the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) core values, mission, and vision.


KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES: Extensive understanding of employment and labor laws in the State of Maryland. Ability to navigate the complex demands of negotiations with multiple associations in support of the MCPS core values, mission, and vision. Knowledge and understanding of the organization and functions of the various personnel assignments within MCPS and a thorough understanding of the objectives of collective bargaining units and their methods of operation. In-depth knowledge of negotiation practices and techniques relating to employees in public education. Leadership skills in facilitating group processes, including consensus building, and conflict resolution. Big picture thinker with the ability to develop and strategically implement specific, detailed, and tangible plans. Proven ability to work effectively with racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse staff, students, and community to bring groups together toward common goals. Experience in project management, including the ability to identify, develop, and deploy resources across multiple initiatives. Success in relationship building across a diverse group of stakeholders. Demonstrates cultural competence and a deep understanding of issues facing diverse groups with empathy. Ability to build consensus, resolve conflict, and exhibits tact and willingness to have difficult conversations. Demonstrated ability to skillfully navigate existing political structures/systems. Skilled at creative problem solving in order to build consensus across multiple stakeholder groups. Clear and persuasive oral and written communication skills, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills using tact, patience, and courtesy. Ability to creative innovative thinking and the capability to successfully implement strategy. Ability to interpret, apply, and explain rules, regulations, policies, and procedures to a broad audience. Aptness to recognize political and priority implications throughout the negotiation process. Proficiency to listen and accept feedback constructively. Possess high emotional intelligence skills. Demonstrates understanding of change management strategies. Ability to lead in a fast-paced, demanding, and constantly changing environment. Unwavering personal integrity with demonstrated commitment to MCPS core values.

EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND EXPERIENCE: Master’s degree in Human Resources, Organizational Development, Psychology, Business Administration, Public Administration, or related field desirable from a four- year accredited college or university. JD or MBA preferred. A minimum of 10 years of experience leading negotiations and labor relations in a comprehensive school district, municipal, state or federal public agency or some combination of experiences. Pre-K-12 public education experience is desirable. Demonstrated success implementing and leading complex and collaborative leadership projects.


PHYSICAL DEMANDS: (Special requirements such as lifting heavy objects and frequent climbing.) None.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: (Frequent overtime or night work required, etc.) Ability to work frequent nights, weekends, and holidays, as required. Ability to meet externally imposed and inflexible deadlines.



1. Serves as the lead negotiator in labor negotiations
2. Serves as the adviser in matters of labor negotiations and employer-employee relations
3. Advises the Superintendent and Board Members on the current status of association negotiations and implementation of agreements
4. Prepares MCPS documents for use in collective bargaining
5. Serves as a strategic advisor and technical expert to the Superintendent and executive leadership regarding collective bargaining, employee relations, compensation, and employee investigations
6. Provides technical expertise and information regarding union relations, contract interpretation, investigation best practices, and participates in the formulation of policies, procedures and programs; advises on trends or challenges and recommends appropriate courses of action
7. Oversees, strategically guides and fosters collaborative and positive labor-management relations, contract negotiations, and contract administration
8. Leads and fosters interest-based labor management and bargaining philosophy and actions consistent with a continuous improvement and learning model
9. Convenes District administrator committees to obtain input for collective bargaining direction
10. Coordinates and facilitates meetings between MCPS and bargaining unit representatives
11. Implements strategic goals and objectives, policies, procedures, and work standards for all aspects of negotiations and labor relations
12. Performs ongoing assessment of labor relations programs and agreements
13. Provides recommendations and support for management decision-making processes related to collective bargaining agreements
14. Delivers presentations to MCPS leadership and the Board on negotiations
15. Coaches, develops, and grows the MCPS bargaining team representatives by providing feedback and developing a strong culture of collaboration and growth
16. Collaborates in developing public news releases regarding collective bargaining implementation of agreements
17. Directs and approves the release of employee and/or employment information to bargaining unit representatives
18. Ensures MCPS compliance with state and federal laws that relate to labor and employment standards and collective negotiations with school employees
19. Facilitates training for MCPS bargaining team members and MCPS staff
20. Directs or conducts varied analytical studies, including but not limited to, cost benefits analyses and evaluation of bargaining strategies, objectives, and methods
21. Evaluates the performance of personnel assigned to the department
22. Performs other duties as assigned.