Labor Consultant

US-District Of Columbia-Washington, DC
# of Openings
Dept. of State
Job ID


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Within the Department of State, the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Passport Services Directorate (CA/PPT), Office of Program Management and Operational Support (CA/PPT/PMO), Program Coordination Division (CA/PPT/PMO/PC) has an opening for the services of a consultant/subject matter expert to work as part of an expanding labor relations workforce in the midst of a workload that is rapidly increasing in both volume and scope.   


The Labor Relations Program coordinates labor-management relations issues within the Passport Services Directorate, and provides consultation on contract interpretation issues to management, both at 29 domestic passport agencies and at the headquarters level, regarding dealings with a unionized workforce of approximately 1,200 individuals.  This includes negotiating and resolving Bargaining Unit Employee (BUE) complaints to achieve resolution at the earliest possible stage, serving as a member of the Management negotiating team for collective bargaining disputes, ensuring that passport policies conform to negotiated terms with the National Federation of Federal Employees – Local 1998 Union (NFFE) Master Agreement, and serving as a consultant and source of subject matter expertise to educate agencies on best practices. 


The Labor Relations Program within CA/PPT may also brief Passport Services Management to make recommendations for labor relations policies, and researches, investigates and represents PPT Management in arbitrations, alternate dispute resolutions, unfair labor practice charges, and other proceedings.  The Program’s team members coordinate and liaise with Passport Services Management, Legal Affairs, Department Negotiators and Human Resources to develop strategies that educate managers and sustain standardized supervision of BUE across 29 passport agencies and centers.


Duties and responsibilities for this position are as follows:  

  1. Assist PPT Management during negotiations and proceedings. 
  • As approved and directed by PPT/S/PMO, participates with PPT staff to represent and argue for Management in adversarial legal administrative proceedings that include arbitrations and unfair labor practices (ULP), as well as in alternate dispute resolutions and other official proceedings. 
  • Investigates all relevant facts and prepares cases for PPT Management scheduled for arbitration, ULP, ADR, or other official proceedings.  Conducts complex legal research on applicable statutory, regulatory, and case law using Westlaw and Cyberfeds as necessary for such proceedings.  Drafts briefs, motions, agency position statements, and other legal documents on behalf of PPT Management.  Coordinated and liaises with other Department advisors in a consultant role as necessary.  Engages in witness preparation, and serves as a witness when necessary. 
  • Applies legal education, knowledge, and experience to resolve issues that may have no precedents.  Interprets contractual language and regulations on behalf of PPT Management in order to reach an agreed upon solution, and provides legal advice and consultation to high level management staff regarding the same. 
  • Prepares written Union notifications, using legal background and subject matter expertise to ensure that such documents are within regulatory compliance, are legally defensible, are approved by PPT Management, and are in compliance with the Agreement. 
  • As approved and directed by PPT/PMO, assists in the negotiation labor-relations issues on behalf of Management with the Union, composes settlement language, and oversees communication of assigned cases between the Union and Management.  May also be directed to provide consultation to high ranking Department management, including senior executive service personnel, regarding whether to enter into settlement agreements in assigned cases.  
  1. Labor-relations liaison for Management  
  • Applies seasoned judgment and subject matter expertise for labor relations issues during the PPT review and clearance process to ensure that all policies and procedures issued from Headquarters conform to the Agreement, as well as applicable law. 
  • Composes talking points, briefings, presentations, and coordinates with other offices in a consultant role regarding issues and responses involving labor relations.  Drafts memoranda, policies, procedures, and standards related to labor-relations for dissemination to Headquarters and Agency Management, as well as for dissemination to NFFE. 
  • Leads and participates in PPT and CA working groups when requested concerning labor-relations issues to ensure that planned activities conform to the Agreement.  Provides consultative advice and subject matter expertise concerning strategies for planned initiatives to working group members. 
  • Fosters professional working relationships with representatives from NFFE, Agency Management, the Department’s Chief Labor-Management Negotiator, the Office of Legal Affairs, and Human Resources in order to solve labor-management issues, conflicts, and litigation.  May be request to serve as a spokesperson for PPT labor-management relations at the Directorate level. 
  • Serves as a consultant for, and works closely with, Passport Agency Management, Regional Directors, the Managing Directors for Issuance and Support Operations, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services to inform Management on best practices, provide legal advice on labor-relations issues, and assist with grievance response and prevention.  Provides advice and assistance to field agencies and makes formal presentations and recommendations to labor relations audiences comprised of both Union and Management personnel.  
  • As approved by PPT/PMO, travels to agencies, conferences, or other proceedings to speak on behalf of Management regarding labor-management relations issues, or to provide education of field personnel in the area of labor-management relations. 
  • Investigates issues to prepare responses to grievances in a timely manner, ensuring that the Division Chief and Office Director are informed and briefed on all pertinent information regarding grievances.  Ensures that all grievance responses are cleared by senior management officials, as appropriate, and furnished to the Union within prescribed deadlines.  Responds to requests for information in a timely manner to meet deadlines.  Informs Division Chief and Office Director when grievance issues need to be escalated to the Managing Director (MD) and Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) level.  When requested, briefs MDs and the DAS on issues that have implications for the Bureau and Department.  Works with Management and the Union to solve issues before they escalate.  
  1. Manages projects or initiatives as assigned when they involve labor relations issues. 
  • Ensures successful and timely completion of assigned projects using efficient project management methodologies.  As requested, develops and coordinates viable project timelines, project plans, communication plans, resource planning, budgetary planning, and risk mitigation to ensure that project milestones are met.  Manages multiple projects at the same time to meet all project tasks and milestones. 
  • Identifies, analyzes, and develops labor relations policies to improve workforce and operational management for the effectiveness and efficiency of CA/PPT headquarters offices, as well as field agencies and centers.  Makes policy recommendations to management based on both legal background and policy analysis experience. 
  • Analyzes, drafts, and revises content changes for management with regards to Passport Services’ Management controls for publication in the Foreign Affairs Handbook (FAH) and Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM).  Provides consultative feedback regarding content changes drafted by other divisions and offices within PPT.  Utilizes experience in the drafting and editing of legislative and regulatory law, as well as governmental policy and procedure, to ensure that such content changes are legally sufficient, and satisfy their intended purposes  
  1. Analysis and Reporting 
  • Researches, collects, reviews, audits and analyzes data and information.  Prepares reports as requested on a variety of subjects that impact labor-management relations.  Executes writing, editing, drafts and obtaining final approvals of various products related to labor relations. 
  • Develops and implements quantitative metrics for measuring the performance of passport agencies regarding effectiveness and improvement in areas related to labor relations. 
  • Develops proposed resolutions for more efficient operations and improved communication between PPT Management and the Union. 
  • Conducts sophisticated legal research using databases commonly utilized by attorneys; identifies the best references and sources; vets items appropriately and reaches out in person to possible sources of information.  Analyzes large amounts of materials, extracts the pertinent information, and drafts papers and proposals that clearly demonstrate a position or action to the audience.  Makes and justifies recommendations that may have no precedent. Performs cost effectiveness studies and cost-benefit analysis.


Candidate must be a US Citizen and be able to obtain and retain a Secret Clearance.



Juris Doctor Degree, with a license to practice law in at least one U.S. jurisdiction.

No degree or advanced education in statistical or policy analysis is necessary.



  • 5+ years of strong legal research and writing background as well as experience in adversarial administrative proceedings on either the federal or state level.    
  • Experience briefing senior management - including serving as a consultant to senior executive service personnel - both orally and in writing.
  • Should be skilled at distilling complex topics into short memoranda, and drafting briefs, motions, and other legal documents to be filed with federal administrative bodies.   
  • Have practical experience in policy analysis, as well as in providing policy recommendations to decision makers.   
  • Experience in the administration and interpretation of complex contracts with broad applicability.


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