Job description


Vice President of Labor Relations

First things First: Who are we? 

Twice the size of our next largest competitor, First Student is the leading school transportation solutions provider in North America. Every day, we complete 5 million student journeys, moving more passengers than all U.S. airlines combined. With a team of highly trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services for 1,100 school district contracts. 

Develops, recommends, leads, and directs a positive, pro-active, economically viable corporate labor policy designed to strengthen the Company’s management of its operation and to minimize the risk of work interruptions consistent with FS overall policies and practices.

  • Develops and formulates company collective bargaining polices, objectives and strategies, with regular interaction and engagement with the Board of Directors.
  • Assists in strategic planning, collective bargaining, and administration of labor relations activities throughout the Company in concert with the Company’s labor attorneys.
  • Represents the Company in collective bargaining, arbitration hearings and NLRB cases and other administrative agency proceedings involving labor relations matters to the extent permissible, practical, and feasible.
  • Serves as counsel and consultant to the Human Resources staff, Operations executives, and managerial personnel on Labor Relations matters.
  • Develops and maintains positive and productive working relationships with union officials
  • Develops, recommends and assists in developing necessary policies and procedures to assure corporate-wide understanding of and compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations affecting the Company’s relationship with its employees.
  • Anticipates key issues and significant developments in labor relations; advises and assists the in the formulation of relevant Company policy.
  • Provides recommendations for actions regarding response to Labor Relations developments while supporting the Executive Management Team and line Operations personnel
  • Trains newly hired or inexperienced staff personnel in the negotiation and administration of Company labor contracts.
  • Develops programs and coordinates staff activities for labor unions and all hourly employees with Labor Relations and Human Resources activities concerning relations with labor unions and hourly employees.
  • Provides direction, guidance and counsel to the labor relations staff and various Operations executives and managerial personnel on labor relations matters in conjunction with staff labor attorneys.
  • Establishes labor relations collective bargaining objectives and strategies.
  • Conduct bargaining for designated labor contracts and oversees and assigns the bargaining conducted by the company’s labor attorneys, and outside counsel where utilized as needed.
  • Determines the strategic direction of the Labor Relations department.
  • Advises and assists in the selection and change in assignment of key labor relations and human resources personnel throughout the company.
  • Develops and recommends organizational analysis and planning for the Company.
  • This position can commit the company to considerable dollar expenditures during collective bargaining.

Experience & Skills Required:          

  • Juris Doctor or equivalent
  • 10+ years’ experience in-house or large law firm management-side labor relations
  • Deep understanding of financial modeling and impacts related to Labor strategies
  • 10+ years hands-on experience serving as chief negotiator in collective bargaining.
  • Experience and knowledge of US (required) and Canadian (preferred) labor laws
  • 5 years of experience representing employers in arbitrations, presenting before the NLRB and other agencies
  • Experience with dispersed organization with multiple unionized facilities over a wide geographic footprint.
  • Experience directly interacting with union leadership, preferably Teamsters.
  • Possess solid understanding of all aspects of Company’s business and ability to understand Financial statements, budgets, bid models, and costing out company and union bargaining proposals
  • Position functions fairly independently with minimal direct supervision.
  • Must be able to communicate effectively with all levels of company personnel.
  • Position requires the ability to function independently; to foster and promote Company policies and cultural objectives. 
  • Strong leader with demonstrated ability to interact with and influence others effectively at the executive level, location level and cross-functionally.
  • Strong leadership skills that focus on developing, engaging, and empowering talent.
  • Motivates and encourages staff to achieve success, serving as a role model for team members in both actions and words.
  • Experience managing remote teams.

First for a Reason  


We offer competitive compensation and benefits (which vary based on role, location, and business), including physical and mental health initiatives, medical/dental/vision, 401(k), and paid holiday/vacation. 

Professional Advancement 

Start here. Go far. We believe in promoting from within which means tremendous opportunities for you, thanks to our strong presence across North America. In addition, our 3 to 5 month Manager-In-Development program prepares future leaders at First Student. 

Extensive Training 

Build skills and knowledge in such areas as safety and security, injury prevention, technology and equipment, and job efficiency. 

Diversity & Inclusion 

Because we’re stronger together, we aspire to have a culture where all people are First. We’re committed to providing an inclusive and diverse working environment for everyone every day. 

Community Service & Impact 

Go where opportunity meets community. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. As the face of First in your community, you’ll have a positive impact on others. 


Apply today and get your career on the road with First Student!  

We aspire to have a culture where all people are First. We strive to attract and retain a diverse workforce therefore all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status. First is also committed to providing a drug-free workplace. For candidates applying to positions in San Francisco or Los Angeles California, First will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance or Los Angeles Fair Chance Ordinance. First is an equal opportunity employer and by doing so we will sustain and promote an inclusive culture that supports future growth for all.

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99030 - HR Field & Labor Salary
191 Rosa Parks Street, 8th Floor, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, 45202
  • Company:
    First Student
  • Terms and Conditions Type:
    Full Time
  • City:
  • State / Province:
  • Job Category:
    Executive & Senior Level Management
  • Location Contact Telephone Number:
  • Vacancy Number:
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