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03.11.17

Information From SUEPO on the Functional Allowance Reveals How Top-Level Management Intends to ‘Rob’ the Cash Cow (EPO Budget)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Killing them for meat while they last, not just milking them while they graze

More cows
Granting patents in a rush/haste* is the equivalent of squeezing the goose or slaughtering one’s cattle for quick, albeit temporary, profit

Summary: Team Battistelli, the cabal of mostly French people inside management (who surround and protect Battistelli), “are opening up the cookie jar, with the firm intent of taking the cookies. Once they have helped themselves, less cookies for staff.”

MORE THAN TWO days ago an EPO insider confirmed to us that the functional allowance was real, after we had reported on that about a week earlier. Thankfully, and not belatedly, it turns out that SUEPO too spoke on the subject. “SUEPO sent us the following additional information about the new functional allowance for managers,” one reader kindly told us. Here are the contents:

FUNCTIONAL ALLOWANCE FOR MANAGERS

So far, functional allowances were meant to compensate employees in Job Groups 4-6 when for temporarily taking on tasks above and beyond what is in their job description. Obviously, this did not apply to managers in Job Groups 1-3, since the “new career system” awarded them an increase in salary for higher responsibilities.

With the proposed amendment to Article 12(2) Service Regulations, Management now wants to open up the possibility of getting a functional allowance also to … Management. Concomitantly, the functional allowance will be increased from a maximum of “an amount equivalent to two steps in the current grade” to “two monthly basic salaries per year”.

The Office states that this is justified for “the sake of efficiency and flexibility”. Now, Annex I to the new Circular 364 indicates that duties and constraints deserving a functional allowance are for “functions of high responsibility (…) organizational and technical change management etc.

We leave it up to you to guess who falls within that definition, and to assess the degree of self-service. How naive does Management think staff is?

With GCC/DOC 7/2017, management is laying the foundation for awarding themselves functional allowances and to increase their amounts, which (just like steps, promotions and bonuses) are part of the budgetary envelope for rewards. In other words: They are opening up the cookie jar, with the firm intent of taking the cookies. Once they have helped themselves, less cookies for staff.

This is why we’d argue that Team Battistelli is in effect ‘looting’ the Office. They’re like a parasite preying on the host that they are gradually killing from the inside.

“They’re like a parasite preying on the host that they are gradually killing from the inside.”Not too long ago the CSC (Central Staff Committee) sent a letter to delegates. This letter [PDF] too alluded to changes. It’s 33 pages in total and contains information that would mostly be comprehensible to staff (including time budget and financial budgets).

We continue to urge people out there (preferably Dutch-speaking) to tell Bert Koenders, who said he would monitor the situation, what happens at the Office. There is absolutely no reason for immunity and many reasons for a serious investigation.
____
* Covered here in four articles so far:

  1. EPO Record Low on Quality of European Patents (EPs) in 2016
  2. The European Patent Office is Wasting Its Already Limited Budget on Misleading Press Releases/Paid-for Coverage That Overlook Sharp Decline in Patent Quality
  3. Latest EPO ‘Results’ Should be Grounds for Immediate Dismissal of Battistelli Rather Than Celebrations
  4. ‘Evil Tongues’ Inside and Outside the EPO Explain Why Battistelli’s 2016 ‘Results’ Are Bad While the Media Mindlessly Repeats EPO Management’s Talking Points
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