RECRUITMENT - Executive Director, Olympia

Who We Are:

The Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) has a long history of fighting for workers’ rights and employee benefits while tackling social justice issues with passion and energy. The WFSE, Council 28 has been operating in the state capital for over 77 years. Our staff fight for fairness and equality as well as ensuring the hard-working employees of state government, higher education institutions, and public service workers get better pay, better health care, better retirement, and a healthy work environment. There’s more to accomplish, and with the right personnel, we believe we can accomplish it. Come join our team and be a part of a larger mission that will make an impact for years to come. Learn more about who we are at:

What We’re Looking For:

Are you passionate about fighting for workers’ rights? Making your voice heard for fair and equitable wages, health care, and working conditions for public service employees? Are you looking to apply your labor background and leaderships skills in a dynamic way? If so, the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is recruiting to fill our Executive Director position. This position serves as the highest authority for all council staff, is the principal staff liaison to the WFSE Executive Board and is a member of the WFSE Executive Committee. The Executive Director is responsible for the strategic planning, internal operations, financial controls, council programs, and is an active participant in WFSE legislative, lobbying, political action and organizing efforts and is a participant in various bargaining tables.

This position is the chief liaison with the Governor’s Office and key administrative and policy staff to maximize collective bargaining efforts in the interest of state employees and the members of WFSE. This position works with key legislative leaders, committees, and state agency directors and their executive staff to resolve complex issues such as: full scope collective bargaining; PERC cases; unfair labor practices; and funding for state employees which include health care, retirement, and fair and equitable salaries for members represented by the WFSE.

The incumbent works closely with the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) and other individual AFL-CIO and non-AFL-CIO unions. The incumbent meets regularly with the WSLC officers and key staff to coordinate WFSE/WSLC efforts. The Executive Director is a spokesperson to elected public officials, legislators, agency officials, community groups, and the press, etc. and is a lobbyist on key WFSE legislative priorities. This position hires, directs, trains, and disciplines staff and oversees the daily operations of the council. This position directs the WFSE management team and supervises the work of the division directors.

Additional duties include:

  •  Is the approving authority for internal policies and interprets and enforces WFSE staff policies and procedures recruiting workers to join in collective action.
  • Provides policy recommendations to WFSE Executive Board and ensures the WFSE staff have appropriate policies in place that meet state and federal employment laws.
  • Serves on labor boards, committees, state boards, commissions, and various panels.
  • Works with the HR Manager to determine staffing models, appropriate training, strategic recruiting, and organizational development.
  • Oversees and monitors the development and implementation of the WFSE budget and works with division directors to understand the needs of the organization and appropriates funds as needed. The Executive Director strategizes with the executive team on a viable and sustainable budget for the future.
  • Builds an effective team of leaders by providing guidance and coaching to direct reports.

Required Qualifications:

  • Outstanding organizational and leadership skills.
  • Ten (10) years of experience including hands-on application of labor organizing and strategic campaigns, contract negotiations, and representation.
  • Five (5) years of demonstrated experience managing union staff and programs.
  • Ability to manage large scale budgets.
  • Thorough understanding of state and federal employment laws; knowledge of HR best practices.
  • Excellent oral and written communication.
  • Exemplary public speaking skills.

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, labor law, or related field.
    • Proven ability to work well with people, convey instructions to others, and supervise, train, and mentor staff members.
      • Knowledge of public sector rules, laws, and the union.

Special Note:

This position is overtime exempt and evening and weekend work is expected based on council needs.  Must have a valid driver’s license, use of personal vehicle, and valid vehicle insurance.  Criminal background check and release of driving record required prior to hire.  Out of state candidates must provide drive record at the time of interview.  Benefits include annual and sick leave, $150 cell phone allowance, $800 vehicle allowance, medical/dental, life, and long-term disability insurance, and holidays. Salary range for the Executive Director is $161,339 and $186,769.

How to Apply:

To be considered for this position(s), applicants must submit a resume, letter of interest, and at least five (5) professional references, of which two (2) references must have been coached or supervised by the candidate, to:  [email protected]. Your letter of interest should clearly explain how your experience, training, and education make you a viable and competitive candidate for this position.

*The first review date of candidate materials will begin on Friday, March 31, 2023.

The Washington Federation of State Employees is committed to providing equal employment opportunity and equal access in a non-discriminatory manner to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, creed, color, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, political affiliation, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any real or perceived sensory, mental, or physical disability.
Persons requiring accommodation in the application process or for an alternative format may contact the Coordinator of Executive Services, Emily Roberts at (360) 352-7603 or [email protected]. Persons of disability or those who are deaf or hard of hearing can call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833- 6388. The WFSE complies with the employment eligibility verification requirements of the Federal Form I-9. The selected candidate must be able to provide proof of identity and eligibility to work in the United States consistent with the requirements of that form on the first day of employment.