Strike by Foreign Service Officers: impact on EC group members in FS positions

May 09, 2013 The members of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) are currently in a legal strike position. Their collective agreement expired on June 30, 2011, and the bargaining process to renew the agreement is at a standstill. The FS group members have been engaging in informational picketing for some time now and could go out on strike at any time.
It is our understanding that approximately fifty employees in the EC group currently hold FS positions within the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). While they occupy FS positions, these workers are covered by the FS collective agreement and, consequently, are considered members of PAFSO. As a result, they can participate in job actions and walkouts organized by PAFSO to press for a return to the bargaining table. Letter from our legal advisor indicates that DFAIT believes that employees in FS positions can participate in pressure tactics or strike measures organized by PAFSO in accordance with the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
We have asked the Treasury Board to provide us with the names of all ECs currently occupying FS positions so we can contact them to explain the situation. We are urging ECs in FS positions who have questions about their rights and obligations in the event of a labour conflict to contact PAFSO.
We also want to remind our readers that CAPE has published information on the ongoing negotiations between PAFSO and the Treasury Board. We have also published advice for CAPE members on procedures to follow in the event of a strike by others in their workplace. Lastly, the PAFSO website contains information updates on ongoing collective bargaining for the FS group.