12.16.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

Unanimous Negative Opinion on the Proposal of Benoît Battistelli to Eliminate Basic Rights at EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Union busting high on the agenda at the EPO right now

Union busting

Summary: A look at the opinion letter of General Consultative Committee (GCC) members about the EPO’s latest effort to muzzle staff representatives, use financial sanctions against them (impacting legal defence), and ultimately sack them

THERE is a meeting today regarding Benoît Battistelli’s EPO and there is an opportunity to scrutinise it at the Council.

Just before it starts or ends we wish to post Annex 3 of an aforementioned letter because there are some bits there which merit comment (or emphasis in larger fonts):

ANNEX 3

Opinion of the GCC members elected by staff
on document GCC/DOC 15/2015 (CA/99/15)

Periodical Review of the Service Regulations
i) Amendments to Article 2 of the Service Regulations
ii) Amendments to Article 95 of the Service Regulations

“Under the trivialising title of “periodical review”, the President proposes radical cuts in the rights of staff and their representatives.”The members of the GCC elected by staff give a unanimous negative opinion on the proposal of the President to amend Articles 2 and 95 of the Service Regulations (ServRegs) for the following reasons.

Under the trivialising title of “periodical review”, the President proposes radical cuts in the rights of staff and their representatives. The Council would be ill-advised to approve such drastic proposals, which will bring into disrepute the Organisation, the Office, as well as the respective Contracting States. All the more so in a session where it has to decide on the further suspension of one of its appointees.

i) Amendments to Article 2 of the Service Regulations

“The Council would be ill-advised to approve such drastic proposals, which will bring into disrepute the Organisation, the Office, as well as the respective Contracting States.”The amendments allegedly aim to align the terms of office for appointments in statutory bodies (normally based on calendar years) with the terms of office of staff representatives (three years from the 1st of July to the 30 th of June). It also aims to improve stability, consistency and efficiency in the bodies concerned.

However, the amendments do not succeed in aligning the terms of office, because the extension will still be “within the limits of the terms of office of the Staff Committee members”, i.e. it will have to end on 30th of June and cannot be extended until the end of a calendar year. Furthermore, staff representation is already appointing in a stable and consistent way to the various bodies, not the least due to its scarce manpower and due to the need to gain experience, since external (i.e. not elected) experts cannot be appointed since the entry into force of “Social Democracy”. Thus the declared aims are not relevant.

The proposed Article 2(6) is so sloppily drafted that it encompasses the GCC itself (Article 2(1)(b) ServRegs) and the Appraisals Committee (Article 2(1)(g) ServRegs), which was until now not a joint committee. We are however ready to appoint to the latter Appraisals Committee as soon as Article 110a(3) ServRegs will be been amended accordingly.

“The proposed Article 2(6) is so sloppily drafted…”In actuality, the new regulation aims to avoid a new “call for volunteers” to sit in the Appeals Committee pursuant to paragraph 1(d) ServRegs, which was organised by the President of the Office regardless of any statutory provision in December 2014. By so doing, he intends to perpetuate a practice and a resulting composition of the Appeals Committee, which are regarded as illegal by the Staff Representation and is being challenged by appellants.

“By so doing, he intends to perpetuate a practice and a resulting composition of the Appeals Committee, which are regarded as illegal by the Staff Representation and is being challenged by appellants.”The amendments also conflict with Article 36(2)(a) ServRegs, which provides that the Central Staff Committee (CSC) alone shall be responsible for making appointments to the bodies under the Service Regulations. The President of the Office will resort to the proposed Article 2(6) to extend the mandate of staff representatives against the will of the CSC and/or to prevent the CSC from replacing staff representatives. It is also unclear whether the provision will prevent an appointee from stepping down from a statutory body on his own volition.

ii) Amendments to Article 95 of the Service Regulations

Pursuant to Article 95 ServRegs, the appointing authority may decide to suspend an employee if an alleged misconduct is so serious that it becomes incompatible with his/her continuing in service, for instance if continuation of service would be against the interests of the Office, would endanger the investigation process or even other employees. Suspension is not a disciplinary sanction: it is essentially an interim measure until the appointing authority decides on a disciplinary sanction following the completion of a statutory disciplinary procedure. Until then, the suspended employee is presumed to be innocent.

“A salary reduction is warranted if the foreseeable disciplinary measure would also have a financial effect, i.e. only in case of relegation in step, downgrading or dismissal.”The appointing authority may also decide to withhold part of the remuneration, up to half of the employee’s basic salary. A salary reduction is warranted if the foreseeable disciplinary measure would also have a financial effect, i.e. only in case of relegation in step, downgrading or dismissal.

Presently, Article 95(3) ServRegs is the only provision protecting employees against excessively slow investigation and disciplinary procedures: if no final decision is given within four months from the date of suspension, the employee shall again receive his/her full remuneration and the employee is entitled to reimbursement of the amount of remuneration withheld.

“It de facto negates the interim character of a suspension and turns a salary reduction into an illegal financial sanction and possibly a financial hardship for the employee.”Similar protecting provisions are included in the Service Regulations of other International Organisations, either in the form of a fixed duration for a suspension (e.g. non-extendable six months in the EU regulations), or in a more flexible form, with an advance written statement setting out and justifying its duration (UN and WHO). They aim to balance the interests of both parties in having speedy and expeditious investigative and disciplinary procedures.

After the abolition of Article 95(3) ServRegs the EPO would be the only international organisation that would have no provision in place for assessing the duration of a suspension, with or without salary reduction. Suspension (on a reduced salary) may go on for an unlimited, or disproportionately long, period of time, without the necessity for the appointing authority to justify it The amended Article will also have immediate effect on all suspensions ongoing on the date of its entry into force.

This is unacceptable because:

  • It tips the balance completely on the side of the appointing authority by removing any incentive for the President or the AC to investigate speedily the alleged misconduct and decide in a reasonable time.
  • It de facto negates the interim character of a suspension and turns a salary reduction into an illegal financial sanction and possibly a financial hardship for the employee. Such a disproportionate decision may in principle be challenged with the ILO-AT but the review is limited due to the discretionary nature of the decision and a judgment will be long to come.
  • The additional punishment resulting from a disproportionately long suspension is not foreseen in the exhaustive list of disciplinary measures pursuant to Article 93(2) ServRegs.
  • A disproportionately long suspension is against ILO-AT case law (e.g. Judgment No. 2698), which require a speedy procedure, and against Article 6(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights, which states that everyone is entitled to a fair trial within a reasonable time. It is a violation of the EPC, for much the same reason.
  • Applying it to ongoing suspensions makes it retroactive, thus contrary to recognised principles of law (ex post facto laws).
  • Extending the suspension until the date of re-appointment in the case of a member of the Boards of Appeal (most notably the member suspended by the Administrative Council in December 2014) will de facto amount to a removal from office and circumvent Article 23(1) EPC.
  • It may lead to court cases against Contracting States before the European Court of Human Rights.

According to the Office, the (investigative and disciplinary) procedure is presently normally completed with the time frame of four months. A more flexible time frame is thus desirable only in exceptional case. As a result, we recommend to maintain the time frame for suspension to a fixed period (e.g. the present four months) and make an extension possible only in exceptional cases, with the extension set and duly justified by the appointing authority in advance, as is the case in many international organisations (UN, WHO).

The GCC members elected by staff

Notice how much of the above is basically just devised in a timely fashion by Battistelli in order to crush the unions. Even one who is as blind as a mole can see it.

“Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.”

Samuel Adams

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."



  2. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

    Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)



  3. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

    The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)



  4. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

    The "Mafia" which took over the EPO (the EPO's own workers call it "Mafia") isn't getting its way with a proposal, so it's preventing the states from even voting on it!



  5. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

    Pyrrhic victory best describes what's happening at the moment (it’s a lobbying tactic, faking/staging things to help false prophecies be fulfilled, based on hopes and wishes alone), for faking something without bothering to explain the legal basis is going to lead to further escalations and complaints (already impending)



  6. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022



  8. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying



  9. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

    Links for the day



  10. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)



  11. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close



  12. Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  13. Peak Code — Part III: After Code

    "Surveillance perimeters, smart TVs (Telescreens built to Orwell's original blueprint) watched over our living rooms. Mandatory smart everything kept us 'trustless'. Safe search, safe thoughts. We withdrew. Inside, we went quietly mad."



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 22, 2022



  15. Links 23/1/2022: MongoDB 5.2, BuddyPress 10.0.0, and GNU Parallel 20220122

    Links for the day



  16. A Parade of Fake News About the UPC Does Not Change the General Consensus or the Simple Facts

    European Patents (EPs) from the EPO are granted in violation of the EPC; Courts are now targeted by António Campinos and the minions he associates with (mostly parasitic litigation firms and monopolists), for they want puppets for “judges” and for invalid patents to be magically rendered “valid” and “enforceable”



  17. Welcome to 2022: Intentional Lies Are 'Benefits' and 'Alternative Facts'

    A crooks-run EPO, together with the patent litigation cabal that we’ve dubbed ‘Team UPC’ (it has nothing to do with science or with innovation), is spreading tons of misinformation; the lies are designed to make the law-breaking seem OK, knowing that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are practically above the law, so perjury as well as gross violations of the EPC and constitutions won’t scare them (prosecution as deterrence just isn’t there, which is another inherent problem with the UPC)



  18. From Software Eating the World to the Pentagon Eating All the Software

    “Software is eating the world,” according to Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape), but the Empire Strikes Back (not the movie, the actual empire) by hijacking all code by proxy, via Microsoft, just as it grabbed a lot of the world’s communications via Skype, bypassing the world's many national telecoms; coders need to fight back rather than participate in racist (imperial) shams such as GitHub



  19. Links 22/1/2022: Skrooge 2.27.0 and Ray-Tracing Stuff

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 21, 2022



  21. Peak Code — Part II: Lost Source

    "Debian and Mozilla played along. They were made “Yeoman Freeholders” in return for rewriting their charters to “work closely with the new Ministry in the interests of all stakeholders” – or some-such vacuous spout… because no one remembers… after that it started."



  22. Links 22/1/2022: Ubuntu MATE 21.10 for GPD Pocket 3, MINISFORUM Preloads GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  23. Computer Users Should be Operators, But Instead They're Being Operated by Vendors and Governments

    Computers have been turned into hostile black boxes (unlike Blackbox) that distrust the person who purchased them; moreover, from a legislative point of view, encryption (i.e. computer security) is perceived and treated by governments like a threat instead of something imperative — a necessity for society’s empowerment (privacy is about control and people in positions of unjust power want total and complete control)



  24. Peak Code — Part I: Before the Wars

    Article/series by Dr. Andy Farnell: "in the period between 1960 and 2060 people had mistaken what they called "The Internet" for a communications system, when it had in fact been an Ideal and a Battleground all along - the site of the 100 years info-war."



  25. Links 21/1/2022: RISC-V Development Board and Rust 1.58.1

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 20, 2022



  27. Gemini Lets You Control the Presentation Layer to Suit Your Own Needs

    In Gemini (or the Web as seen through Gemini clients such as Kristall) the user comes first; it's not sites/capsules that tell the user how pages are presented/rendered, as they decide only on structural/semantic aspects



  28. The Future of Techrights

    Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices



  29. [Meme] UPC for CJEU

    When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU



  30. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts