PAFSO’s Union Dues FAQ

The purpose of this document is to provide PAFSO members with basic information about their union dues. Specifically, it aims to answer questions about how monthly dues are calculated, and how they are deducted from pay stubs by the Employer.

This FAQ should be read in conjunction with the FS Collective Agreement. In cases where there may be discrepancies between this document and a provision of the Collective Agreement, it is the Collective Agreement that applies.

Union dues are regular payments from members of the FS bargaining unit that fund PAFSO’s operations. These operations include collective bargaining with the Employer, negotiating the Foreign Service Directives, defending members’ rights in the workplace, and promoting the profession to various stakeholders and the general public. It is these monthly contributions which ensure that you receive the best quality representation, advice, and advocacy from your association. Also, a portion of these dues is set aside in a reserve fund, the purpose of which is to continue to provide pay to our members in the event of a strike or work stoppage.

Section 5 of PAFSO’s Constitution states that all employees occupying positions in the FS group are required to pay union dues as specified in Article 5 of the Collective Agreement between the Treasury Board and The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers.

Employees of the FS group do not have to become members of PAFSO. However, because the terms and conditions of employment contained in the Collective Agreement apply to all employees, everyone in the FS group is required to pay union dues.

states that the dues paid by members in accordance with Article 5 shall be reviewed from time to time by the Executive Committee. Any proposal to enact changes to union dues shall be communicated to the membership well in advance of a General Meeting where the proposal will be put to a vote. Once approved by the membership, the new dues shall become binding on all members.

PAFSO dues are set are set at 1.1% of the penultimate step for each of the four (4) classification levels of the FS Group (FS-01 to Fs-04). Dues are calculated per months and then rounded to the nearest dollar. Currently, dues for FS-02, 03, and 04 are calculated based on the 2020 pay scale. FS-01 dues are based on the 2019 pay scale when there were only 3 steps.  

As of January 2024, the monthly dues for each level are as follows:

FS-01   :  $67
FS-02  :  $96
FS-03  :  $108
FS-04  :  $122

As a rule, your dues are adjusted each time new rates of pay are negotiated in a new Collective Agreement. The new dues adjustments come into effect one year after the signing of the Collective Agreement. Therefore, the next dues adjustment is scheduled for July 1, 2024.

The adjusted monthly dues on July 1st, 2024, for all four (4) classification levels will be based on the pay scales from the 2023 Collective Agreement. They will be as follows:

FS-01   :  $89
FS-02  :  $108
FS-03  :  $122
FS-04  : $137 

It is important to note that, unlike new rates of pay, PAFSO’s union dues are not retroactive.

As mentioned above, the previous FS-01 dues were based on the 2019 pay scale. At that point in time, the pay scale for the FS-01 level was comprised of only three (3) steps. After the signing the collective agreement on August 1, 2019, the number of steps for the FS-01 pay scale increased to six (6). This would have represented a significant wage adjustment that would have taken effect on July 1, 2020. However, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, PAFSO switched its focus to other priorities, and did not make any adjustments to the FS-01 union dues. Because of this, there is now a bit of catching up to do. The 2024 adjustments for FS-01 union dues will now be based on the pay scales agreed upon in the 2023 Collective Agreement. This is why the 2024 adjustments for the FS-01 level are proportionally higher than other levels.

The Employer is responsible for collecting dues from each bi-weekly pay. It then remits these funds to PAFSO on a monthly basis. Our members pay the dues as shown above, based on the FS level they were in at the beginning of the month. The amount deducted for dues from each pay appears your pay stub.

In accordance with the various Collective Agreements and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Directive on Union Dues, it is the Employer’s responsibility to start and stop the collection of union dues. Should you have any questions about your union dues, or if you need to report errors, inconsistencies or any other issues with your pay, we encourage you to contact the Employer Pay Center.  

PAFSO does not have access to payroll information and, as such, it is each member’s responsibility to ensure that the correct amount of dues are being deducted from their pay. This is particularly important if you have recently accepted a promotion or an acting assignment within the FS group.

The best way to avoid any issues with your union dues – including the potential collection of dues arrears – is to inform the Pay Centre of any changes to your classification level.

The date used to establish when to begin the collection of union dues for an initial appointment is the effective date of the appointment. Compensation advisors will start to deduct union dues following the completion of a full calendar month of employment. Therefore, an appointment on the 1st day of the month will result in the completion of that full calendar month of employment. Union dues deductions will begin on the 1st day of that month. However, an appointment on any other day of the month will result in deductions starting on the 1st day of the following month.

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