OTTAWA, June 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The Professional Association of Foreign
Service Officers (PAFSO), representing Canada's 1,350 non-executive
diplomats, staged a mass walk out in Ottawa today and at posts around
the world, protesting the Government of Canada's unwillingness to
engage meaningfully at the negotiating table.
As part of a coordinated escalation of service withdrawals, over 400
Foreign Service officers based at the Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade headquarters in the National Capital Region left
their positions this afternoon, joining members at twelve other
missions worldwide who had walked out earlier in the day.
"After nearly two years of negotiations and a four-month hiatus in
talks, the Government returned to the table with the same position they
presented back in the fall of 2011," says Tim Edwards, PAFSO President.
"The Government's unwillingness to compromise is an affront to the
principles of free and fair bargaining, and to the tremendous value and
dedication Foreign Service Officers offer to Canadians and their
The primary issue at hand remains PAFSO's request for equal pay for
equal work. Specifically, the union is seeking wage adjustments to keep
Foreign Service Officer pay in line with comparable employment groups
in the federal government.
"We've made concessions to address their concerns in the current
economic climate. But they still seem intent on punishing some of our
less senior diplomats, who earn up to $14,000 less than those doing the
same work in Ottawa," says Edwards.
At several posts around the world, Canada's political, trade and
immigration officers will not be reporting to work until further
notice. This includes some of Canada's largest and most important
embassies and high commissions overseas. Affected Canadian offices
abroad include: London, Paris, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Dublin, Hong
Kong, and Canada's delegation to the European Union.
All Foreign Service immigration officers in Beijing, Shanghai, Delhi and
Chandigarh have also walked off the job, which will severely reduce the
pace and volume of visa and immigration processing for applicants from
China and India.
SOURCE: Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO)
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