Media Advisory - Canada's Foreign Service Officers announce continued pickets and additional service withdrawals at key international locations in eleventh week of job action

OTTAWA, June 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's Foreign Service Officers are stepping up pressure on the federal government to engage meaningfully in contract negotiations. This morning's well-attended information picket at the Lester B. Pearson building in rainy Ottawa follows staged, mass walk-outs in the capital and at 13 key posts around the world, with PAFSO members protesting the Government of Canada's unwillingness to address long-standing pay inequities.

PAFSO also announced that in the coming days, additional services will be withdrawn in a variety of international posts and key divisions at Headquarters.

"The Government's refusal last Wednesday to revise a pay offer which has been on the table for 20 months has forced us to undertake an escalation of job action measures. We will keep up this heightened pressure until the Government recognizes the tremendous value and dedication Foreign Service officers bring to Canadians and to our elected representatives" said Tim Edwards, PAFSO President.

The main 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, including lawyers, economists, policy analysts, and commerce officers.

"What we want, above all else, is a fair deal which allows our members to get back to the job of serving Canadians. But until Treasury Board indicates that they are ready to make a genuine and reasonable effort to resolve this situation, we will continue to target the Government's top international priorities and all Cabinet-level travel abroad," says Edwards.

Service withdrawals continue this week in Dublin, London, Paris, Canada's Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Delhi, Chandigarh, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and at dozens of headquarters units. In addition, all Foreign Service immigration officers in Mexico City began withholding services today, which will severely reduce the pace and volume of temporary and permanent resident application processing, already plagued by enormous backlogs due to earlier rounds of job action. All told, approximately 200 diplomats were withholding their services at time of release, with others to follow in the days ahead.

This week will also see the announcement of the 2013 Canadian Foreign Service Officer Awards. The Awards were created in 1990 by PAFSO as a means of providing peer recognition of exceptional achievement by career Foreign Service Officers. The recipients of the awards will be announced at a dinner hosted by PAFSO in Ottawa on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Press kits with more detail are available by contacting awards@pafso-apase.com.

SOURCE: Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO)

For further information:

Frederic Fournier
media@pafso-apase.com
613-790-5402

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Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO)

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