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07.27.18

Reader’s Post: How the EPO Silently Halves Salaries of Senior EPO Staff (or Gets Rid of Them)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techrights has heard of several such cases

One half

Summary: The story of cost-cutting and superficial ‘production’ increases at the EPO, as told by an insider

Brain drain continues at the EPO. The vacated posts provide the EPO rubber stamp squad with more arm swing: their exceptional production is awarded with more exceptional salary increases and bonuses. The number of retirements at EPO quadrupled between 2015 and 2016. In January 2018 alone, some 70 more employees left the EPO. Many of those young retirees are between 50 and 55. Staff members over 50 are told they are too expensive, and if they want to stay at EPO, they have to produce 25% more than the year before. Year after year, that is. When they can no longer follow the pace, the tone changes. Suddenly they are charged with professional incompetence. They get a gagging order under which they cannot communicate about their own case. From that moment onwards, they have no appealing options. One option is to retire early. Another option is to get a disciplinary sanction: lower salary and lower pension benefits. A final option is to work full-time at a 50% salary. The EPO makes employees above 50 “offers they cannot refuse”. Involuntary retirees can always complain to the administrative tribunal of the ILO, the first instance court which does not need to verify facts, and only verifies whether EPO rules have been applied correctly.

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