Update from the President of PAFSO for June 7, 2024

Dear members,

It’s June already. Happy Pride Month! Happy National Indigenous History Month! My last message to you was three weeks back. Since then, we’ve had some very successful events and we’re just about to wrap up one of our larger projects.

The 2024 PAFSO Triennial Survey closes today
This is a friendly reminder that today is the last day to complete the 2024 comprehensive members survey. So far, the numbers indicate a higher level of participation than in 2021, the last time it was held. So, if you are one of the hundreds of members who already took the time to complete our survey, I thank you. But if you haven’t yet, there’s still time. You have until 5 p.m. EDT today to fill it out by using the following link: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7777776/PAFSO-Survey-24S.

Please consider doing so as this survey is our best tool to get to know our membership. Your answers help us to identify and measure trends, and ultimately, to better represent you. It’s critical to the development of our next Strategic Plan. So, if you want to help guide our efforts in advocacy, communications, and labour relations, please take a moment to fill it out.

We know your time is valuable, that’s why we have added a bit of an incentive this year. After completing the survey, you will have the option to enter a weekly draw for the chance to win a gift card worth $50.

Please note that your privacy is important to us and as such your answers will be completely anonymous, confidential, and will only be analyzed in aggregate form. Thanks in advance for your participation.

Tradecraft Week 2024
On Tuesday, we wrapped up this year’s edition of PAFSO’s Tradecraft Week. This was the third installment of our professional series created by members, for members with the goal of fostering a greater sense of community within our profession. This year’s event focused on members experiences being at post for the first time. We invited our more seasoned colleagues to share with our newest members the insights and knowledge they wish they had back then. If you weren’t able to participate this year and would like to hear some great stories about your colleagues first times abroad, all three sessions are available for you to watch in this playlist on our YouTube channel.

Thanks again to our wonderful panelists and everyone who made Tradecraft Week 2024 such a huge success. I know it’s a lot of work, but it is always so rewarding in the end.

PAFSO Indigenous Mentorship Initiative
Since June is National Indigenous History Month, I thought I would remind you of our Indigenous mentorship initiative. As you know, PAFSO is committed to advancing reconciliation and promoting the development of a Foreign Service that reflects Canada’s diversity. With the aim of improving Indigenous representation within Canada’s Professional Foreign Service, we set up the PAFSO Indigenous Mentoring Initiative (PIMI) last fall.

Through PIMI, PAFSO members can support Indigenous students interested in a career in the Foreign Service by:

  • Sharing their unique perspectives about the profession of a foreign service officer
  • Providing exposure to formal and informal networking opportunities
  • Informing Indigenous students about how they can prepare for both student employment and foreign service recruitment opportunities.


If you’d like to become involved in this initiative, or for additional information on the program, you can visit our website, or send an email to pimi-pmaa@pafso-apase.com

AMBCANADA-PAFSO Deborah Chatsis Indigenous Scholarship in Foreign
Continuing in the spirit of National Indigenous History Month, I wanted to remind you about the Deborah Chatsis Indigenous Scholarship established a few years ago by PAFSO and our friends at AMBCANADA. This is another initiative to help ensure that Indigenous peoples are properly represented in Canada’s Foreign Service. You can learn more about the scholarship, or make a contribution here on the Carleton University website.

Launch of GAC’s FS03 competition on GC Jobs
I know that many of you have been waiting for the launch of GAC’s FS-03 competition, so I am pleased to announce that the job poster is now live on GC Jobs under reference number FS03 24-EXT-IA-KP 104629. The application deadline is 10 July 2024. Please visit the GC Jobs website for complete competition details as I understand there will be no broadcast message or other information sent out by GAC.

PAFSO Breakfast with Alan Kessel on 11 June at 0900 Ottawa time
In keeping with our Tradecraft theme of what we wish we’d known, this month’s virtual breakfast speaker will be Alan Kessel, GAC’s outgoing Legal Advisor. Alan, whose last day on the job was 31 May, has promised to share some of the wisdom accumulated during his 42 years in the Foreign Service. I’m sure it will be a lively and interesting discussion. Please use this link to register for the session.

That’s it for this week’s message. We’ll chat again in two weeks. Once again, if you haven’t already done so, please set some time aside to take the 2024 Members Survey. Your participation is very important, and very much appreciated.

In the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out to us if you are having any concerns at work. Are you having issues with your pay? Do you feel harassed or discriminated against? Do you have a grievance or a staffing complaint? Or do you just want some clarifications on our collective agreement or the FSDs? Whatever the case, PAFSO is here for you. Just send us an email with your name, department and a detailed description of your concerns. For anything and everything else, please send us an email at info@pafso.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Until next time, take care of yourselves and each other.

All the best,

Pam Isfeld