MHCC’s new senior labor relations adviser, in addition to working on union contract negotiations, will seek to improve skill training and efficiency at MHCC.
Randy Wardlow started working full time at MHCC in February.
According to Gale Blessing, chief human resources officer and director of institutional safety & security, Wardlow is responsible for “providing guidance, trainings and strategic support to the college on matters related to labor relations, including contract negotiations, grievances, unfair labor practices, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints and arbitrations.”
Wardlow said he will provide support and consultation to the MHCC administration and staff regarding labor relations questions and concerns.
“I hope to bring forward suggestions to improve employee training and development, build more proactive approaches to employee/management concerns, and to provide skill building opportunities to employees in order to be more effective and efficient at our work and thus better serve the students and community,” said Wardlow.
For the past five weeks, he said he has been doing a lot of “meet and greets” with MHCC’s staff to get to familiarize himself with MHCC.
When he gets a staff issue, Wardlow said he figures out what he needs to do to fix it quickly and effectively. He said, “In my experience the best approach to addressing questions is to spend as much time as necessary trying to really understand the issues, then providing a well thought-out, thoroughly researched, accurate and implementable option.”
If he can’t come up with the best answer to everybody’s issues, Wardlow said he tries to do what is “right” according to the rules and statutes in place here at MHCC.
According to Blessing, Wardlow will play a central role in negotiations of all labor contracts, including mid-term negotiations, with the full-time faculty, part-time faculty, and classified employee associations.
Wardlow said, “I believe MHCC hired me due to the belief that I have certain sets of skills and experiences that will be helpful in continuing to establish and build a positive, engaged, transparent and collaborative relationship amongst all MHCC employees so that we may better meet the needs of our students and community.”
A graduate of the University of Oregon, Wardlow also worked at the U of O as an associate director in Human Resources’ Employee and Labor Relations Office since January 2009.
Blessing said, “He managed the employee relations program with primary responsibility for labor relations, including collective bargaining, grievances, contract administration and preparing and presenting arbitrations cases”
At the U of O, Wardlow also conducted training for managers and supervisors in contract administration. “He brings more than 19 years of HR experience, six of which have been directly related to labor relations,” Blessing added.