Canadian Foreign Service Workers Union Offers Binding Arbitration

Treasury Board President Tony Clement, who is responsible for protecting Canadians from a growing federal debt burden and tax load, has until Tuesday to accept PAFSO’s offer to enter into binding arbitration to end the pay dispute (Government of Canada)

The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) has offered to enter into binding arbitration with the federal government to end the strike of its members and with it, the disruption to permanent residency and visa issuance.

PAFSO is giving the government until Tuesday to accept the offer before it is rescinded. Treasury Board President Tony Clement must decide whether to accept the deal, which would give a third party arbitrator final say as to what the new compensation scheme for Canada’s foreign services will be, or stick with the government’s current proposal.

The strike is delaying the processing of visa applications, which has elicited warnings from various groups, including the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and Nova Scotia’s premier, that the continuation of the strike will cost the Canadian economy by reducing the number of tourists and international students that land in Canada.

The federal government is aware of the damage the strike is doing but says the offer it has already proposed is fair because foreign service officers receive a special foreign allowance that makes up for their salaries being lower than that of other public servants.

The government also says that foreign service jobs are highly sought after in Canada which indicates the compensation offered is sufficient.

PAFSO has responded that the foreign allowance is not a special benefit to foreign service officers, as all Canadian public servants working overseas receive it, regardless of their division.

This, according to the foreign service officers union, makes the government’s proposed compensation scheme, which would give a foreign service officer on the level-2 pay scale at the maximum experience-grade $87,000 per year, unfair, as it would still be $11,000 less than what a comparatively experienced public servant in the commerce division would receive.

The government has been reluctant to increase its offer however, saying that the PAFSO strike is an attempt to ‘blackmail’ Canada by withholding a vital service.

Clement has said that a more generous offer would be unfair to Canadians who would have to foot the bill, a suggestion that the government believes the compensation offered is adequate for attracting qualified individuals to fill the foreign service positions.

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9 comments

  • Terry Gallagher

    All public service wages should be reduced 25% until the budget is balanced and we are able to pay off 2% of the outstanding debt every year.

  • Harper and the corruption party must be FORCED to take their cyanide medication, NOW !!! ASAP !!!!!!!!!!

  • Hi
    Me and my wife are in turkey about 26 month as refugee
    with Identification Number: G000028805
    we are in very bad situation we don’t have money and place to live
    please do our Process faster we don’t have more Tolerance

    please help us GBU all.

  • What’s d period of strike ..???

  • Does anyone know a way to get the Temporary Resident Visa to Canada faster? Due to the strike my visa is being processed extremely slowly, and I urgently need it. Please please help me.
    Best Regards,

  • My wife and I have adopted a beautiful baby girl from Pakistan and the two of them have been in Pakistan for a little over 6 months. We as a family have been seperated for the overwhelming majority of the time and I find it hard to believe that immigration canada would take so long in such cases!! i dont think the strike helps the situation in any which way but i would appreciate it if the govt and union resolved the issue and granted my daughter the immigrant visa that we are waiting on!

  • This strike needs to stop NOW!!! Slowing down the visa granting process for my friend’s daughter and he’s so close to having a family reunion let him have it!!!

  • This is ridiculous! My husband and I have adopted a baby girl and are still in the host country waiting for our daughter’s immigration visa to be processed. My husband has returned to Toronto given he needs to get back to his job. We have been here for over 6 months and are eager to return home and be a family. Please end the strike and get back to work so we may return home to Canada!!!!

  • It is really difficult for people who have their loved ones on the other side waiting for a visa to come to Canada especially babies who are living away from a parent as is the case for my son. Families need to be united so that they can lead happy normal lives. Please expedite such cases. End the strike!

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