Lead Human Resources Specialist (Employee Relations and Labor Relations), GS-0201-14 MP

Alexandria, Virginia
Jul 20, 2021
Jul 24, 2021
Human Resources
Full Time


At the National Science Foundation, human resources professionals make a difference! As the agency's Team Lead Labor and Employee Relations (LER) Specialist, you will lead a staff and work directly with agency leadership and union representatives to achieve mission success. We are committed to outstanding customer service, innovative programs, and results oriented business practices. If you are looking for a dynamic work environment in a top-ranked Federal agency, look no further!

Learn more about this agency


SEEKING AN INNOVATIVE, CUSTOMER-ORIENTED, TEAM PLAYER TO JOIN OUR WORKFORCE RELATIONS BRANCH. If you are an individual with a background in addressing complex employee and labor relations issues, this may be the job for you. If you are interested in a dynamic, fast-paced, and autonomous work environment, look no further. The National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Information and Resource Management (OIRM) serves as a strategic partner with NSF Directorates and Offices, providing seamless support and guidance in labor and employee relations activities. We are committed to providing outstanding customer service, implementing innovative programs and initiatives, and engaging in results-oriented business practices. Ideal candidates have a commitment to guiding transformation, a strong customer focus, and the ability to work both collaboratively and independently. We guarantee you will never be bored in our high-energy, engaged workplace.

As a Team Lead LER Specialist you will:
  • Serve as the leader of a team to Workforce Relations Branch staff providing technical authority advisory services on employee relations and labor relations (LER) including performance management and recognition program.
  • Coach team members in problem solving methods and techniques; advises the team of NSF's strategic plan and mission and integrates into their work plans.
  • Serve as a consultant to agency management and advise on integrating LER program with other high profile and critical agency programs.
  • Serve on interagency committees and working groups to formulate and implement new management practices that facilitate improved working relationship with union officials within and outside NSF.
  • Provide authoritative interpretation of laws, regulations, policies, and procedures that govern ER/LR and develop broad policies or other LER guidance for the NSF.
  • Maintain day-to-day contact on an informal or planned basis with operating officials, supervisors, and employees to acquaint them with basic personnel management concepts, principles, etc.
  • Maintain continuing liaison with labor organization representatives and officials on problems or questions by the bargaining unit. Convene meetings with representatives, operating officials, or employees to find LER solutions.
  • Provide technical authority management advisory services to NSF operating officials on LER issues that focus on conduct, discipline, and labor.
  • Provide staff assistance and advice in developing a communications program designed to provide guidance to management and employees on effective two-way flow of information and consultation on work problems and personnel policy questions.
  • Serve as a technical authority or management representative in cases with potential impact on the agency labor relations program.
  • Negotiate applicable contracts and issues requiring Impact and Implementation bargaining.
  • Participate in negotiations with employee organizations seeking recognition by NSF management and in third-part proceedings involving the NSF (e.g., Federal Impasse Services Panel [FSIP], Federal Labor Relations Authority [FLRA], and Office of Personnel Management [OPM]).


Employee Relations

Labor Relations

Organization/Time Management

Written Communication

Oral Communication


Team Collaboration.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Background investigation.
  • Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.
  • US citizenship.

It is NSF policy that NSF personnel employed at, or IPAs detailed to NSF are not permitted to participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs. Failure to comply with this NSF policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal Service or termination of an IPA assignment and referral to the Office of Inspector General. Foreign Talent Definitions

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience

You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements within 30 days of the closing date.

Time in Grade Requirement: Applicants who have held a General Schedule (GS) position within the last 52 weeks must have 52 weeks of Federal service at the next lower grade or equivalent.

You must answer all job-related questions in the NSF eRecruit questionnaire.

All online applicants must provide a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

This is a non-bargaining unit position.


To qualify at the GS-14 level, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level in Federal service. Examples of specialized experience includes serving as a senior level consultant in labor and employee relations programs; providing guidance, advice and assistance to management and employees in preventing and resolving a wide range of complex work-related problems; leading a team of labor and employee relations staff members; and developing, administering, and evaluating policies and plans on adverse actions, discipline, grievances and appeals, performance management, incentive awards, leave regulations and administration, standards of conduct, counseling and referral services, and employee assistance issues. In addition, the work involves establishing and maintaining effective relationships - including the use of nontraditional collaborative approaches with labor organizations representing Federal employees, negotiating, and administering labor agreements.


Education may enhance skills required for this position; however, no substitution of education for specialized experience may be made at this level.

Additional information

Relocation Expenses will not be paid.

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP):
ICTAP and CTAP provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP or CTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP or CTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified you must meet the following: OPM qualification requirements for the position, all selective factors, where applicable; special OPM approved qualifying conditions for the position; is physically qualified with reasonable accommodation, where appropriate, to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position upon entry; and receives a rating of at least "Very Good" on the questionnaire. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP or CTAP eligibility, or a copy of your separation personnel action form.
Additional information regarding ICTAP or CTAP eligibility is available from OPM's Career Transition Resources

Veteran's Preference:
If you are entitled to veterans' preference, you should indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming on your resume. Your veterans' preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency. For 5-point veterans' preference, please provide your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions. For 10-point veterans' preference, please submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, DD-214, and the required documentation as specified on the SF-15.

NSF has determined that all of its positions are eligible for telework. Work suitable for telework depends on job duties; therefore, employees must receive approval from their supervisor for telework and have a telework agreement in place. Entering into a telework agreement is voluntary.

For additional information on the NSF eRecruit system, please visit our NSF eRecruit Applicant Guide .

This announcement may be used to fill like positions in other organizations within the National Science Foundation.

The Selected Candidate(s) may be subject to a background investigation.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Ratings will be assigned based on your responses to the occupational questionnaire. In some cases, additional assessment processes may be used.

Review your resume and responses carefully. Responses that are not fully supported by the information in your application package may result in adjustments to your score. A Human Resources Representative will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the selecting official.

Applicants eligible for selection preference under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) must meet the agency definition of "well qualified." At NSF, this means a score of 90.0 or higher.

In the merit promotion selection process, formal performance appraisals may be considered if voluntarily submitted by the applicant.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process

Required Documents

If you are an NSF employee on or eligible for a permanent, competitive service position or you are an NSF employee who is reinstatement eligible based on prior Federal permanent, competitive service, you need not submit documents to confirm status. All applicants are required to provide a resume, in any format they choose. Cover letters are optional.

If you are not an NSF employee as described above, but you are eligible under merit promotion , under an Interchange Agreements , under a non-competitive authority , or under a similar authority , you will be required to submit supporting documentation. This will typically require the submission of one or more of the following documents:

1. Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50s) or comparable federal agency forms to verify your eligibility for reinstatement and/or grade/step/salary if you are a current or former permanent federal civil service employee.
• SF-50 must indicate that appointment is/was to a competitive service position with permanent tenure or conditional tenure within the last three years; OR, to a similar position in the excepted service at an agency that has an Interchange Agreement.
• An example of a comparable agency form is a personnel action from a DOD Non-appropriated Fund organization or from the US Postal Service for a current and continuing appointment without a break in service.
• Documents that are NOT comparable and NOT acceptable substitutes for a SF-50 include a SF-52, a Performance Appraisal form, a Personnel Action Request (PAR), or a Request for Personnel Action (RPA).

2. Performance appraisals and awards may be considered during the evaluation process if voluntarily submitted.

3. DD-214 (Member-4 copy); and if applicable, the Department of Veterans Affairs Notice of Compensable Disability Rating from applicants requesting consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA), Veteran Recruitment Act (VRA), or the disabled veterans appointing authority.

4. Schedule A Certification - from applicants requesting consideration under the Schedule A appointing authority for disabled applicants.

5. Other - Documentation which verifies you are eligible to be appointed to a permanent position in the federal competitive civil service.

If you are requesting consideration under a Special Hiring Authority listed below, you must submit the required documentation as outlined in the regulation or Executive Order. Please also annotate your application to reflect that you are applying under a special hiring authority. If you are requesting consideration under a Special Hiring Authority not listed below, please email eRecruit@nsf.gov or reach out to the point of contact listed on the vacancy announcement.

• Returned Peace Corp Volunteers
• Certain Military Spouses (Executive Order 13473)
• Former Overseas Employees
• Foreign Service Employees
• Career Service Employees
• Postal Rate Commission Employees
• Government Accountability Office (GAO) Employees
• Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts Employees

If you are requesting special employment consideration under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) or
CTAP, you must submit documentation provided by your current or former employing agency verifying your eligibility for that program. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of your most recent performance rating, and a copy of your most recent SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) showing your position, grade level, and duty location. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.

All uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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