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Ottawa mulls appeal of labour board ruling in dispute with striking diplomats


 

OTTAWA – The Conservative government is considering an appeal after the Public Service Labour Relations Board ruled Ottawa has been bargaining in bad faith with its striking diplomats.

A spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says the government is disappointed with the decision and has filed a notice of appeal “to preserve all available options.”

Alexis Pavlich says the government is reviewing the board’s ruling before figuring out its next steps.

Friday’s ruling stated the Treasury Board violated the Public Service Labour Relations Act by imposing conditions in advance on binding arbitration.

But the board did not impose a remedy in the long-running saga that universities and tourism groups say has deprived foreign students and travellers from getting the visas they need to come to Canada.

The decision urges the Treasury Board and the 1,350-member Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers to go back to bargaining to break the impasse.

Pavlich said the government is set on reaching a deal with the diplomats.

“As we have repeatedly stated, the government is committed to finding a fair and reasonable settlement for both employees and Canadian taxpayers. That commitment remains unchanged,” he said in an email Saturday.

The union asked the Treasury Board in July to consent to binding arbitration.

Treasury Board President Tony Clement agreed but then insisted on a series of conditions, including taking the union’s key demand for wage parity off the table.

The foreign service staff want wage parity with their counterparts in other federal departments, who they say make as much as $14,000 more doing similar work.

The union, which has been without a contract since mid-2011, has been staging rotating walkouts at more than a dozen foreign missions.

It has targeted the foreign travel of cabinet ministers and the processing of visas for potential visitors to Canada.


 
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Ottawa mulls appeal of labour board ruling in dispute with striking diplomats

  1. All public service unions should be banned. They can not be compared to union in private business.If the union cripples private business by excessive demands the business closes and they are out of work. That creates checks and balances. Public service union such as in this case cripples Canada knowing that no matter how much damage they do they will be not out of work and Canadian taxpayers will eventually out of duress give in and pay. They are not striking against the government they are striking against every Canadian whether he/she pays taxes or not since the money that they extract from the treasury will be taken out of other programs or added to the debt of Canada.

    • Many countries do ban governemtn unions from striking and set laws on how they are paid. Usually about 95% of private business for similar work. The 5% less is because the job is considered secure and has better benefits.

      Even socialist countries they can’t strike, Norway, Germany and others. USA doesn’t either. You strike on US DC, you are going to jail.

      Unions in Europe have a much better defined process of adjudication, limitations, and a whole long list of mediation they have to go through to strike. For example, strikes will not be approved it the company is losing money or making too little profit. Unions have to accpet productivity and quality as part of their contract. eg. no raises unless quality and productivity targets are met.

      Entirely more advanced than Canadian bully-bully extort mentality.

  2. Easy solutions. Replace all consulates with CF military or co-source with UK. No reason to support consulate bloat any more. Canada doesn’t need a US CIA like spy network, unless of course USA is paying.

  3. Far more people apply to be MP’s then jobs are available. They even spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to apply with no guarantee of success Sounds like we’re paying them far too much and offering far too many perks. Time to cut way back on their pay, perks and power. Isn’t that right Steve?

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