Labor Relations

The Labor Relations office is part of Human Resources, in the Division of People, Culture and Belonging, and oversees all aspects of labor relations activities for AFSCME-represented employees at Kent State. 

The Labor Relations office also oversees pre-disciplinary hearings for classified, unrepresented university employees. The goal of the office is to create and sustain a collaborative work environment for collective bargaining members, unrepresented classified employees and the professional leadership.

Additional areas of responsibility for the Labor Relations office include:

  • Serve as a resource to employees, supervisors and department heads regarding labor relations policies and issues
  • Administers and oversees the performance evaluation process for classified and unclassified employees
  • Administer and interpret the AFSCME collective bargaining agreement, university policies and relevant sections of the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code
  • Plan and direct recruitment activities and employment services for represented classified staff
  • Provide grievance and arbitration procedure administration for all classified employees
  • Administer predisciplinary processes for all classified employees
  • Assess and develop training programs for represented staff and supervisors/managers of represented staff
  • Represent the university in AFSCME collective bargaining negotiations

For more information, contact:

  • Karen Watson, Employee and Labor Relations Director, at 330-672-4636 or
  • Linda Leising,  Employee and Labor Relations Coordinator, at 330-672-2901 or
  • Janine Bogden, Administrative Assistant, at 330-672-8526 or
  • Norma Karam, Administrative Clerk, at 330-672-8334 or