Illinois Nurses Association

Illinois Nurses Association

Staff Attorney

Based out of INA’s Chicago Office
(Primary assignment location is in Chicago, Illinois)


Join the Illinois Nurses Association, a democratic independent union, and join a team working to bring justice to healthcare workers across the state. INA is building power for nurses and healthcare workers to transform healthcare in Illinois. Working under the leadership of the Executive Director, the Staff Attorney will manage a caseload of labor arbitrations, provide legal counsel and advice to staff and members, and provide direct service as assigned to collective bargaining members in labor relations representation activities, including contract negotiations, contract interpretation, grievances, and general problem-solving. The ideal candidate must be dedicated to the labor movement, able to work with and motivate workers, and willing to work hard to win justice for them.

Duties and Responsibilities
Essential duties and responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned:

  • Appears on behalf of INA in state and federal court, at times with outside counsel, on various matters such as duty of fair representation cases, motions to compel, and enforcement of arbitrations.
  • Researches and monitors federal, state, and local laws, case law, and other sources of information and interprets same in providing legal advice and counsel to staff and collective bargaining unit members, including such matters as unfair labor practices (ULP’s) and representation petitions before state agencies and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
  • In conjunction with the Executive Director, negotiates INA’s labor contracts, serving as chief negotiator if and as requested. Works with appropriate staff to organize and execute various tasks and activities related to contract negotiations including such things as communications, organizing activity, and bargaining strategies.
  • Provides consultation and assistance to staff in strategizing and conducting the prosecution of complex grievances or other legal matters requiring expert knowledge of labor and employment law.
  • Assumes primary responsibility for the arbitration of grievances arising under collective bargaining agreements. Also provides guidance and consultation for other staff involved in arbitration cases. Serves as a member of the arbitration committee.
  • Reviews and monitors work performed by outside legal counsel, and works with same if and as requested, pertaining to collective bargaining activity.
  • Reviews proposed and/or newly enacted legislation, interpreting the impact for the Association and its units.
  • If and as requested, acts as a labor representative in providing service to local units.
  • If and as requested, develops and presents educational workshops to staff or members regarding issues pertaining to labor law, employment law, or the collective bargaining process.
  • If and as requested, performs other duties or tasks necessary to service members of the Association or conduct the business of the Association.
  • Implements and maintains the organizing model of service and contract administration for assigned local units. Assists in the contract negotiation process or serves as chief negotiator as assigned. Monitors the ongoing contract administration.
  • Advises members on various aspects of contract interpretation and administration, filing grievances if necessary and teaching members to file grievances and enforce their contracts. Represents the local unit or member throughout the subsequent process, including the grievance and arbitration processes.
  • Educates members on what it is to be union, their legal rights and how to win change by organizing together. Assists in the development and implementation of educational activities and training for members. Must be able to have an organizing conversation that moves nurses to take action.
  • Maintains a current knowledge of healthcare, labor and legal trends relative to labor relations. Keeps abreast of developments in local, state, or national events or activities pertaining to collective bargaining, labor relations, employment law, or other related areas that may impact interpretation and administration of existing local unit contracts.
  • Participates in labor/management meetings and discussions, and provides general problem-solving support and assistance to members of assigned local units.
  • Works with local unit leadership and general membership in developing and implementing strategic plans for leadership development and member education.
  • Develops and conducts educational workshops for members, prospective members, and other audiences on topics related to collective bargaining, labor relations, and labor law.
  • Responds to member inquiries or concerns about INA or the local unit, and provides prompt service and assistance.
  • Represents the INA in grievance arbitrations as assigned.
  • Represents the INA before labor relations boards, in the private and public sector, as assigned.
  • Provides legal advice and reports, as assigned.
  • As requested, prepares articles and updates for publication in local unit newsletters, on the INA Website, or for inclusion in other flyers or informational brochures pertaining to labor/collective bargaining activity.
  • As requested, performs other duties or tasks necessary to service members of the Association or conduct the business of the Association.

Required Education, Skills and Abilities

  1. Juris Doctorate Degree with a license to practice law in the state of Illinois.
  2. Three years of staff attorney experience in a labor-relations function, including contract negotiations, organizing, arbitrations, and local unit representation. Minimum two years’ experience in labor relations and/or labor law and demonstrated commitment to the labor movement, or other equivalent experience.
  3. Ability to lead and motivate labor union members.
  4. Capacity to serve as chief negotiator in contract negotiations.
  5. Interpersonal communication skills necessary to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing, to a wide variety of individuals and audiences, particularly when describing or explaining collective bargaining and labor relations information.
  6. Ability to work cooperatively with a wide variety of individuals, consistently demonstrate a supportive, helpful approach when working with others, and consistently demonstrate the flexibility to lead or follow as various situations demand.
  7. Experience with the use of computer hardware and software, including Microsoft Office 365, in the performance of work-related tasks and comfort learning new programs and technologies as necessary. Previous experience with the use of computer hardware and software to document, organize, and report written, numeric, and statistical information
  8. Analytical skills necessary to accurately understand, interpret, and act on complex information and data, including basic mathematical skills necessary to perform moderately complex calculations.
  9. Ability to understand and apply established standards and policies and utilize sound reasoning to resolve problems quickly and effectively.
  10. Self-motivated and willing to work long and irregular hours.
  11. Bilingual a plus.
  12. Must have valid driver’s license and ready access to a vehicle within one month of starting.

Work Environment

  1. Normal office environment.
  2. Routine travel via automobile, train, or airplane.

This is a full-time exempt position. Pay and benefits are competitive.

People of color, women, LGBTQ+ and healthcare professionals are encouraged to apply.

Please submit résumé and cover letter to Christian Del Rio (cdelrio@illinoisnurses.com) and say you found this job on unionjobs.com. Please put “Staff Attorney Position” in the subject line.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.