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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 422F
Category: Legal Services

Class Series Concept

See Labor Relations Adjudicator/Mediator 1.


Independently performs advanced labor relations adjudication/mediation work as the presiding officer in their role as a mediator, examiner, hearing officer, and arbitrator. Implements statutory procedures for resolution of complex, financially significant and sensitive labor-management disputes.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is the second working ‑level of the series.  

Under general direction, as a fully qualified Labor Relations Adjudicator/Mediator, resolves situations or cases that include highly-complex, controversial, unique or politically sensitive issues which can attract significant media interest such as a school district strike or other clear threat of disruption to public services or those requiring multi-day hearings involving multiple issues.  

Positions independently handle a full caseload and are recognized as a skilled labor relations professional. Positions at this level assist and mentor the work of lower level LRAMs as required.

Typical Work

Serves as an examiner or hearings officer for hearings;

  • Issues notice of hearing, conducts pre-hearing conferences and settlement conferences, and makes rulings on pre-hearing motions; 
  • Presides at hearings and makes rulings on evidentiary issues, where the record developed at the hearing becomes the official record of the agency if the case is appealed to court;  
  • Reviews record and written briefs filed by parties, conducts legal research, and writes formal decisions;  
  • Interprets and applies the parties’ collective bargaining agreement.

Mediates grievances and contracts to assist employers and unions in all level of disputes concerning the wages, hours and working conditions of employees, in order to prevent or minimize work stoppages.   

  • Meets with labor and management representatives, to ascertain their interests, positions, rationale, and priorities on outstanding issues.  Uses active listening skills and probing questions to challenge parties’ positions, and to explore opportunities for compromises which will suit their interests;  
  • Maintains confidentiality of communications in highly controversial situations which are unique, politically sensitive, high profile, difficult and complex;   
  • Convenes and maintains order at mediation sessions; neutralizes impact of personal animosities on substantive issues; influences timing of developments based on unique knowledge of both parties’ positions and needs;  
  • Working without the power of compulsion, serves as resource to parties concerning legal requirements, utilizing creative means and approaches to resolve disputes.   

Serves as arbitrator in grievance disputes:

  • Establishes hearing date and makes rulings on pre-hearing motions;
  • Presides at hearing and makes rulings on evidentiary issues; 
  • Reviews evidence and written briefs filed by parties, and conducts legal research;  
  • Issues formal arbitration decision (award) which is final and binding on parties.   

Provides dispute prevention services by training and facilitating with parties to prevent disputes by improving labor management relationships, expanding knowledge of collective bargaining laws and processes including the interest based bargaining and collaborative bargaining process;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Advanced knowledge of:  principles of labor/management relations, including economics, human resources, collective bargaining and negotiations, including the rules, practices and precedents of the Public Employment Relations Commission in its administration of one statute covering private sector employers and employees and multiple statutes covering public employers and employees; 

General laws affecting labor/management relations, including employment discrimination, Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 34.05 RCW), and case precedents of National Labor Relations Board (private sector).   

Ability to: preside at hearings with impartiality ruling on questions of admissibility of evidence;   

Prepare formal written opinions by organizing the relevant facts, arguments, and conclusions of law in clear and logical sequence, including determination of credibility of witnesses, review of record, legal briefs, and case precedents;  

Listen actively and critically analyze issues, to suggest innovative solutions while maintaining impartiality;  

Patiently, persistently and persuasively encourage parties to resolve disputes; 

Apply knowledge to diverse and changing work structures and type of public employers.


Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

A law degree and five years of experience in collective bargaining with major work assignments in negotiations, contract administration or related work as a union or management representative, mediator, hearing officer or examiner, arbitrator or educator in the above areas. 

A Master’s degree in labor relations, personnel management, or closely allied field will substitute for a law degree. 

Additional qualifying experience will substitute, year for year, for education.

Class Specification History

New class: 4-30-76
Class code change (formerly 0964): 4-9-80
Revise definition, distinguishing characteristics, minimum qualifications and title change (formerly Mediator 3): 7-1-96
New class code: (formerly 19980) effective July 1, 2007
Revised distinguishing characteristics, typical work and desirable qualifications: adopted August 16, 2007, effective August 17, 2007.
Salary Adjustment, revised definition, distinguishing characteristics, typical work: adopted June 30, 2017, effective July 1, 2017.
Revised definition and distinguishing characteristics adopted 5/17/2018, effective 5/18/2018.
Revised typical work on 5/18/2018.
Base range salary adjustment (from 73 to 75): adopted 2/8/2024, effective 2/9/2024.