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12.12.15

A Day After Massive EPO Protest Benoît Battistelli Tries Using Money to Appease Staff

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The biggest-ever (and ever-growing) EPO staff protests, over abuses rather than money, necessitate reactionary spin

Money

Summary: With slight (usually less than inflation rate) pay rise Battistelli hopes to make it seem as though he is generous

The following EPO piece was published on the Intranet a few days ago and got leaked to us. Why? To use the source’s own words: “Story-telling? Paternalistic patronization? Delusion? Or all of the above?”

We are going to first present the text in full, then proceed to a short sarcastic rebuttal.

Communiqué No. 73

04.12.2015
2015: A positive year for EPO staff

2015 has been a positive year in which our output and revenues have risen. Our enduring commitment to quality, both in terms of the products and the services we offer, has paid dividends. We have, thanks to your efforts, also prospered from increasing efficiency and rising levels of productivity, resulting in a financially positive year for our Office. As you know, my policy has always been clear: the results generated by the performance of the Office must directly benefit the staff in both the short term and the long term. [Note: there is a rumour that Battistelli got a 13% pay rise]

Earlier this year we announced a significant global rewards envelope and the means for its distribution. The new system ensures that those who contributed to the generation of extra revenues for the Office are recognised. Under this performance-based system and through step advancements, promotions, bonuses, functional allowances and collective performance bonuses, around 75% of the staff will be rewarded in 2015. For this purpose we have allocated 18.4 million euros, which represents an increase of more than 20% in comparison to the actual amounts spent during last year.

Given the strong situation in which the office finds itself, further proposals will now be made to the Administrative Council to ensure that every staff member of the EPO is able to benefit from our successful year.

Thanks to the salary adjustment formula which the Council, on my proposal, approved in June 2014, all salary scales and allowances effective from 1 July 2014 will be increased retroactively by 0.5%. On top of this retroactive adjustment, for 2015 the increases in salaries from 1 July are:

- Austria: +0,7%

- Belgium: +2,0%

- Germany: +0,9%

- The Netherlands: +1,5%

Cash injections and good investment returns also mean that we have been able to stabilise the rates of contribution into the pension and social security schemes. Accordingly, there will be no increase to the rate of contributions from staff to either the Pension Scheme or the Salary Savings Plan. Overall, including contributions to the healthcare insurance scheme and the long term care insurance scheme, we have managed to achieve a situation where all deductions from staff salaries are stabilised at the level of the previous year.

Finally, a proposal will be tabled to finance the long term liabilities of the Office by making a substantial cash injection of €200 million into the Reserve Fund for Pensions. Such a transfer, without any direct contribution from the staff, will contribute to the financing of EPO pension schemes and safeguard your future pension rights. During the last four years, such cash transfers amount to almost half a billion euros.

I think it is fair and legitimate that you benefit directly from the best ever results that you have generated. I am thankful for your achievements, of which we can all be proud.

04.12.15 | Author Benoît Battistelli – President

Here it is in plain English: 2015 has been a positive year (if we ignore the overwhelmingly negative press we got) in which we made a lot of money from key partners like Microsoft. Our enduring commitment to expanding patent scope and lowering the bar, both in terms of the products (yes, products!) and the queue-jumping services we offer, has paid dividends. We have, thanks to my wonderful iron-fisted leadership, also prospered from reduced illness (because it's dangerous to stay home while ill) and rising levels of stress, resulting in increased salary (and bonuses) for me and my homies. As you know, my policy has always been clear: the results generated by the performance of the Office must directly benefit the compensation to managers in both the short term and the long term.

Earlier this year we announced a significant global rewards envelope and the means for its distribution. The new system ensures that Big Businesses, which contributed to the generation of extra revenues for the Office, are recognised. Under this performance-based system and through step advancements, promotions, bonuses, functional allowances and collective performance bonuses, 25% of the staff will not be rewarded in 2015. For this purpose we have allocated 18.4 million euros, which represents an increase of more than 20% in comparison to the actual amounts spent during last year.

Given the strained situation in which the office finds itself, further suppressions but also gifts will now be made to the Administrative Council to ensure that every delegate of the AC/EPO is able to benefit from our incentivising year.

Thanks to the salary adjustment formula which the Council, on my command, approved in June 2014, all salary scales and allowances effective from 1 July 2014 will be increased retroactively by far below the inflation rates. On top of this retroactive adjustment, for 2015 the increases in salaries from 1 July are:

- Austria: +0,7%

- Belgium: +2,0%

- Germany: +0,9%

- The Netherlands: +1,5%

So, in other words, almost everywhere the inflation rate will outpace salary increases.

Cash injections (wink wink) and good investment returns also mean that we have been able to stabilise the rates of contribution into the pension and social security schemes, if you ever manage to actually qualify for it. Accordingly, there will be no increase to the rate of contributions from staff to either the Pension Scheme or the Salary Savings Plan. Overall, including contributions to the healthcare insurance scheme (which cannot be used because we don’t allow people to be ill) and the long term care insurance scheme (if the EPO is still around), we have managed to achieve a situation where all deductions from staff salaries are stabilised at the level of the previous year. That still doesn’t take into account the colossal internal tax, which we don’t like to publicly talk about, especially not when speaking to the media.

Finally, a proposal will be tabled to finance the long term debt of the Office by making a substantial cash injection of €200 million of Europeans’ money into the glorification of the almighty EPO. Such a transfer, without any direct contribution from the staff, will contribute to the PR campaign and public image of the EPO. During the last four years, such cash transfers amount to almost half a billion euros. It’s fun that money flows like this, without much oversight, let alone limitations.

I think it is fair and legitimate that you get less than inflation rate pay rise, after I used bogus yardsticks to tell politicians I achieved best ever results. I am thankful for your passivity and I insist that you don’t attend the protest next Thursday, especially if you attended yesterday’s protest.

04.12.15 | Author Benoît Battistelli – Sun King.

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