Foreign Service Strike Continues – Overseas Visas Slow

Photo: PSO

Photo: PSO

With a labour tribunal’s reserved decision on a bad-faith bargaining complaint, job action by striking foreign affairs officers could last for months longer. There’s no indication of when a decision may come.

Aug. 22, the Public Service Labour Relations Board held a three-hour hearing in Ottawa, into a complaint by the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) that the Treasury Board had bargained in bad faith.

Job action has affected visa processing overseas for international students, tourists and immigrants, for four months. In July, the union made a binding arbitration offer to the federal government.

Labour relations board adjudicator Margaret Shannon could dismiss the union’s complaint, rule that the government bargained in bad faith, or order binding arbitration.

The union’s 1,350 members, have agreed to limit job action during an arbitration. They seek wage parity with government employees in similar roles, such as government lawyers, economists and policy analysts.

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