Labour Relations Specialist (Government Relations) - ONA

Vacancy ID#: 2019-02

Location: Toronto, ON Canada

Type: Permanent Full-time

Group/Grade: Bargaining Unit/Officer Grade

Rate: $94,798.84 (start) - $113,625.97

Date: April 11, 2019

Founded in 1973, the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is a leading health-care union representing more than 65,000 registered nurses and health professionals and 18,000 nursing student affiliates working in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, community, clinics and industry. ONA is committed to the advancement of the social, economic and general welfare of its members providing labour relations services that include representation of members to ensure their rights under the collective agreement are protected and negotiating the best possible terms and conditions of employment. ONA advocates for the highest standards of health care for all Ontarians. Looking to the future, ONA will continue to provide proactive strategies to raise the awareness of the value (including economic and patient benefits) of RNs with all stakeholders.

ONA is seeking to hire a Labour Relations Specialist (Government Relations) to join our Communications & Government Relations (CGR) Team. The ideal candidate must be passionate about all things political; be strategic; and be able to articulate ONA’s positions in a compelling way to current government and opposition parties and work within the boundaries of ONA’s governing and administrative policies, vision and strategic directions, and team standards.

This is what else you can expect from this dynamic role:

  • Relationship development with government officials and political staff.
  • Staying abreast of and train internal parties on political processes, lobbying techniques, strategies and tactics.
  • Ability to train ONA supporting staff during campaigning and lobbying initiatives.
  • Staying abreast of current events and daily legislative calendar issues.
  • Strong research ability - able to research and analyze - both locally and internationally - and use such data as reference to develop policy.
  • Ability to glean key messaging from polling data, statistics, and a variety of other sources.
  • Preparation of briefs and submissions, letters and correspondence to government; and drafting of reports, memos, presentations and briefing notes for the ONA Board of Directors and Senior Executive Team; working with them to garner support for government relations strategic planning and execution of tactics.
  • Outreach to government officials and Ministers’ offices using various methods to develop and maintain database of government contacts to be used for outreach purposes and relationship-building.
  • Working and collaborating with outside consultants on strategies, tactics and reports.
  • Ability to understand and appreciate critical links that must be made between media relations, government relations and advertising and promotion; and while planning course of action, a global view must be exercised.
  • Working with, keeping lines of communication open with, and sharing information with internal stakeholders, including District Service Teams.

What we are looking for:

The successful candidate will possess -

  • University Degree in Political Science, Public Policy, Economics or related field; post-graduate qualification preferred.
  • Industrial/Labour Relations or related equivalent education such as Political Science studies or major, an asset.
  • Five (5) to seven (7) years’ proven experience in public affairs and government relations within health care and/or unions (or equivalent combination of education and experience satisfactory to ONA, may be considered).
    • Demonstrated experience with public affairs and government relations strategy development and implementation.
  • Five (5) to seven (7) years’ experience building relations both internally and externally with government officials, and associated stakeholders, including outreach, relationship-building and  engagement with all MPPs, their opposition counterparts, as well as the Premier’s office, Minister of Labour, Minister of Finance, and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, among others.
  • Experience dealing with polling and research firms in establishing criteria for relevant outcomes, as well as survey and questionnaire design techniques.
  • Experience preparing briefs and submissions to government; drafting reports, memos, presentations and briefing notes for a Board and Sr. Executive team.
  • Experience presenting to industry-specific groups such as CFNU – Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, and others, as necessary.
  • Government insight and lobbying experience, ideally within health care.
  • Skilled in priority-setting, efficient time and project management skills.
  • Exceptional organizational skills – ability to juggle multiple duties and projects
  • Excellent client relations, communication skills - verbal, written and presentation - are essential, as is a high degree of professionalism and advocacy skills.
  • Knowledge of unionized environments, procedures, practices and techniques used in collective bargaining and labour management negotiations.
  • Knowledge of health-care legislation, ideally within Ontario.
  • Ability to speak other languages is considered an asset.
  • Ability to work independently and within a team and inter-team environment.
  • Knowledge of, and ability to, effectively facilitate internal committee workshops and meetings.

Flexible schedule for some evening/weekend work, especially around policy changes and government announcements, as well as during election campaigns and lobbying.

The successful candidate must be able to travel, possess a valid driver’s license and have access to an automobile for business use. Ability to travel across Ontario, is also expected, as could other areas outside of Ontario.

If you are seeking an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others as well as your own, visit our website and apply today!

Please submit your resume to by end of day May 3, 2019. Please include the vacancy ID#2019-02 in the subject line.

The Ontario Nurses’ Association is committed to employment and pay equity within its staff.  Applications are encouraged from equity groups including individuals of Indigenous descent, racialized individuals, individuals with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ persons.  We also provide accessible employment practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (‘AODA’). If you require accommodation for a disability during any stage of the recruitment process, please notify Human Resources.

Thank you for your interest in joining us. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Closing date: 

Friday, May 3, 2019 - 17:30


Please indicate on your cover letter that you saw this job posting at the CALM Job Board.