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Team Battistelli Tries to Bend the Rules to Prevent the European Patent Office From Going on Strike

Posted in Site News at 2:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Central Staff Committee of the European Patent Office refuses to be intimidated by Battistelli’s inner circle and insists on the right of staff to go on strike next month

TWISTING the law in its own favour isn't atypical a practice at Battistelli’s EPO (the high-level management). The man revels in autocracy. One person asked me today: “Is there any truth in rumours that the big man has gone?” Rumours that Battistelli has been sacked or resigned (sounds familiar) are most likely false. As one person put it, “the place is bristling with rumours following yesterday’s B28 meeting.

“There is something going on, but I can’t separate the wheat from the chaff.

“All I can say is that it appears to have been a very rough meeting.”

One thing we do know is that as of yesterday, there was a fight over staff's intent/thoughts of going on strike. The following letter is self-explanatory as context is included/alluded to:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Ms Elodie Bergot
PD Human Resources
Isar – R 718

Interlocutor and representatives to the ballot committee

Dear Ms Bergot,

We refer to your e-mails of Friday 12 February 2016, one addressed to us and one addressed to the colleagues who signed a recent call for strike in accordance with Circular No. 347, initiated and organised by staff (Annex 1).

In the above-mentioned mails you acknowledge that the quorum of 10% of staff has been reached and confirm that the Office will organise a ballot within one month, i.e. on 9 March at the latest.

The call for strike designates an external lawyer as the contact person representing the undersigned. In the e-mail to the petitioners, you state that “strike shall be a means of last report and the time of preparation of the ballot should be used to discuss the claims presented in the call for strike.”

According to your mail “external attorneys cannot be considered as social partners to engage into meaningful discussions regarding to EPO’s internal matters.” The petitioners are therefore invited to designate representatives from among active EPO staff members.

We wish to point out the following:

  • There is no basis in law or in reason to reject any given person as an interlocutor. Specifically, there is no rule dictating that the European Patent Office
    interlocutor must be an active EPO staff member.
  • It is not clear how the petitioners could designate their representatives. The petitioners do not know each other and in any case cannot send e-mails to more than 50 persons with their EPO e-mail account.

  • The petition concerns central staff matters. The CSC is the elected staff representation responsible for central matters.

In order to avoid endangering the strike ballot, the external lawyer has asked the CSC to accept delegation of his mandate for any further process or action with regard to the upcoming procedural steps foreseen by the EPO administration. We intend to accept this delegation.

Concerning the mail addressed to us, we designate the following representatives to the ballot committee:

Stéphane Écolivet
Ansgar Wansing

Yours sincerely,

The Central Staff Committee

We confirm that this letter was legitimately decided and produced by the Central Staff Committee1.

1 Pursuant to Article 35(3) ServRegs, the Central Staff Committee shall consist of ten full and ten alternate members.

The CSC presently consists of 17 members, because two have resigned in Dec 2014 and one has been dismissed in Jan 2016 (against the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee).

One full member of the CSC has been downgraded in Jan 2016 (against the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee). In fact, the Office has launched investigations and disciplinary procedures against other Staff representatives as well, affecting negatively their health.

Here is the original with all the signatures included:

Letter to Bergot - page 1

Letter to Bergot - page 2

Letter to Bergot - page 3

Letter to Bergot - page 4

Stay tuned as there’s more on the way.

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