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10.13.15

EPO Staff is Happy, Says EPO Propaganda Still in the Making

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Everyone is happy because the supreme leader says so

North Korean propaganda poster

Summary: The Benoît Battistelli-led institution is so misguided so as to actually expect people to believe that EPO staff feels happy, despite increased awareness of staff suicides, protests, lawsuits, etc.

BE PREPARED and brace yourselves for another charm offensive from the ever-so-charming (but highly offensive) Benoît Battistelli, who paid the French media for puff pieces about him and his notorious EPO reign.

According to our sources, there is nasty propaganda in the making. We don’t know when it will come out and when Benoît Battistelli et al intend to foist it upon the media, but here is what we do know. To quote one who is familiar with this matter:

Operation “Le Bilan”

Mr Battistelli obviously has a very high view of his own performance and does not cease to tell the world. It is clear that his “efficiency scenario”, the combination of cost-cutting, pressurizing staff and prioritizing the easier files in DG1, has produced the desired results: by the end of July the result of the operation budget (= the real money, as opposed to IFRS) was EUR 245m and ”grants (10% over the already very ambitious plan) by first examiner” were up with 29% with respect to 2014. With that the Council is happy. The applicants may be happy (time will tell). Staff clearly is not, but that is being tackled. As briefly mentioned elsewhere, Mr Battistelli has ordered a communication campaign aimed at convincing EPO staff of his great achievements and the benefits to staff. It will include a series of interviews with carefully selected “volunteers” who have the right positive opinions. The call for candidates and the list of the topics can be found [online]. [One can] hear that finding such volunteers has been difficult and that some have been told to volunteer “or else”.

The communication campaign is organised by Ms Lefèvre (Head of Ms Bergot’s office + a.i. head of the Conflict Resolution Unit + a.i. director of internal communication + the direct superior of the 100% staff representatives), and Ms Mittermaier (newly recruited director external communication). Both have an impressive track record. Ms Lefèvre in the French army, including service in Bosnia and Afghanistan. Ms Mittermaier’s in a leading function at Transparency International for several years. [People] are surprised and disappointed to learn that both have lend themselves to organizing such a propaganda campaign including interviews with colleagues who have been carefully selected especially in DG1 where Mr Minnoye (VP1) keeps a close eye on who can be interviewed. It cannot have escaped the attention of Ms Lefèvre and Ms Mittermaier that the vast majority of staff is not happy. And it seems disrespectful to presume that a mere communication campaign will fix the outstanding problems. We note that the last time the Office really asked staff for their opinion through an Office-wide staff survey was about 4 years ago. We therefore call upon Ms Lefèvre and Ms Mittermaier to organize a fair and independent staff survey* instead of organizing a propaganda campaign.

____
* The last request of the CSC to that effect after a first letter in July 2015 has not even been answered by the administration, which does its best not to address adequately the running of a new Technologia survey Office wide (as the CSC did in 2010 and 2013).

If pointing out this crooked plan helps derail it, then so be it. Staff of the EPO is certainly not happy, not motivated, and not satisfied. A lot of people are depressed, afraid, and overworked.

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