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Job Action by Foreign Service Officers

April 23, 2013

In mid-March, the approximately 1,350 members of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) voted 82% in favour of job action within the context of their collective bargaining with Treasury Board. They entered into a legal strike position on April 2 and initiated pressure tactics that same day to help bring about a negotiated settlement. If you would like more information about this ongoing collective bargaining process, visit the PAFSO website.

PIPSC is circulating this brief reminder to our members on how to deal with striking members of other unions both within and outside the workplace, and how such job action by PAFSO members impacts you.

Firstly, we ask all PIPSC members to show respect for the PAFSO union members who are on strike and to respect the process by not attempting to perform any of the duties of striking employees.

Secondly, please note that substantive members of PIPSC bargaining units who are currently assigned/acting in a FS position are deemed under the Public Service Labour Relations Act to be members of the FS bargaining unit for the duration of your assignment and are therefore eligible to participate in job action. We urge all such members to follow job action instructions issued by PAFSO. This is true even if your union dues are still being directed to PIPSC: there is often a lag within a department's compensation services in updating membership lists

("check-off") for unions and redirecting union dues appropriately, especially in departments with heavy rotationality like DFAIT and CIC.

PIPSC is keen to ensure that PAFSO is not penalized by delays in the proper redirection of union dues.

PIPSC members not acting in or assigned to FS positions are not in a legal strike position and are reminded that they are expected to report to work as scheduled and attempt to access the workplace over the course of a strike. However, you should not attempt to cross a picket line where you believe your personal safety is at risk. Should this occur, you should contact your manager for instructions.

The following considerations should also be kept in mind:

1. Any disagreement you may have with your manager’s decisions arising from the strike must be brought to his or her attention; 2. You must obey your manager’s directions; 3. You should contact a PIPSC Employment Relations Officer to discuss possible recourse, including filing a grievance;

Treasury Board has also published a policy on strikes in the federal public service, which you are encouraged to consult.

Contact your PIPSC Employment Relations Officer should you have any questions concerning the impact that pressure tactics applied by the members of PAFSO may have on your work.

Publish Date: 23-APR-2013 08:40 AM