LONDON, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Following last week's mass walk-outs across Canada's network of missions abroad, Canadian Foreign Service Officers based in London, UK will hold information pickets, protesting the Government of Canada's unwillingness to engage meaningfully at the negotiating table.
As part of a coordinated escalation of service withdrawals, Foreign Service officers located at Canada's High Commission to the United Kingdom will gather at the Parliament in Westminster on Thursday, June 13 from 10:30 -12:00.
"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 refusal last Wednesday to revise a pay offer which has been on the table for 20 months has forced us to undertake a significant 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.
"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, Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Dublin, Hong Kong, and Canada's delegation to the European Union. All Foreign Service immigration officers in Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City, 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, Mexico and India.
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SOURCE Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO)