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Canadian Foreign Service Officers Back To Work After Six-Month Strike: Comments FWCanada

01 Oct 2013


Immigration News

As reported in CBC News, Foreign Service Officers at Canadian Embassies across the globe had agreed upon a tentative agreement with the government. Immediately after the settlement, the strike was discontinued. After 6 months of the rotating strike, the foreign service officers went back to work on settling the visa application backlogs.

FWCanada’s Supervising Attorney, Marisa Feil said that this implants a sense of ease in the applicants who were affected by the strike. However, she insisted that applicants need to bear in mind that clearing the application backlogs will take time, and so, it is critical to plan beforehand and apply as soon as possible.

CBC reported that the settlement is anticipated to cost $2.5 million which is around 60% of the amount the union formerly stipulated from the federal government. Nonetheless, PAFSO’s (Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers) President, Tim Edwards, seems content with the compromise, calling it ‘a victory for fair and free bargaining’.

Treasury Board President, Tony Clement stated that this tentative agreement shows that the Government is committed to reach fiscally responsible settlements which are fair to the Canadian employees and taxpayers. He also said that the settlement depicts the efforts of both parties to agree upon a solution that is aligned with the accepted norms of other private and public-sector employees.

During the 6 months of the strike in important immigration processing locations, like New Delhi, Beijing, London and Mexico City, a huge backlog has been accumulated. However, according to the Mail and Globe, the foreign service workers are enthusiastic about being back and are willing to work laboriously to eliminate the backlog.

PAFSO stated that since the adoption of collective bargaining in 1967, this is the longest federal public service strike. Though the PAFSO has ordered an ‘immediate suspension’ of the strike, the tentative agreement is yet to be approved by both the whole Treasury Board and the members of the association.

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