11.24.18

António Campinos Has Run Out of Time, EPO Staff Representation Now Views Him as Just Another Battistelli and Wants Immediate Change

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Campinos and Battistelli in 2011

Summary: Frenchmen António Campinos and Battistelli (above) continue to poison life at the EPO, harming not only the institution itself but also many people who depend on it or are impacted by its low-quality patent grants

THE management at the European Patent Office (EPO) is still gagging and threatening staff representatives (this was removed last week), denying them even the ability to speak to people whom they represent, i.e. persistent union-busting by Bergot as a ‘front’ for António Campinos, who either fails to control her or silently sanctions everything (to make himself look benign while he’s a silent aggressor). People are starting to understand this and the term "mini Battistelli" was used some days ago (in concluding a meeting of the union).

To the Heads of Delegation of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation the following message has just been sent:

Dear Heads and Members of the Member States’ Delegations to the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, dear Chairman,

One of the main tasks the Administrative Council has entrusted Mr Campinos with is the improvement of social dialogue and the mitigation of the social tensions created by his predecessor.

We appreciate that President Campinos has issued several promising declarations of intent, and hope that they will now be swiftly followed by concrete actions.

We bring two recent publications on EPO disciplinary cases to your attention. They are attached to this message.

The staff considers most of the disciplinary measures taken by Mr Battistelli unfair, in particular those which targeted staff representatives, union officials and a Board of Appeal judge. During a general assembly this week, Munich staff requested through a resolution that the damage done to their elected representatives be repaired and ongoing disciplinary proceedings be stopped. They also support the case of the staff representative and union official in The Hague whose case is currently pending at the ILO Tribunal.

Genuine social dialogue can obviously only take place when such restoration and compensation for the abuses of Mr Battistelli and his administration have taken place. Solving these issues would further help to overcome the persistent atmosphere of intimidation, and allow the staff to fully focus on the work to be done.

Mr Campinos’ “trust capital” is already starting to erode. We therefore urge you to support him in introducing the changes the staff requests in its resolution. This would send a clear and positive signal to all EPO stakeholders, and help restoring the reputation of the Organisation.

The EPO-FLIER Team,
a group of concerned staff of the European Patent Office
who wish to remain anonymous due to the prevailing
harsh social climate at the Office

Attachments:
EPO-FLIER No. 42 “Status of EPO disciplinary cases”, and
CSC publication “Staff Representation Disciplinary Cases – Urgent action needed”
(sc18151cp, which was made available to the staff and distributed in the EPO cantines)

Over at IPPro Patents, Barney Dixon has just published this article about SUEPO’s complaint:

The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) has called for EPO president António Campinos to drop charges against one staff union member and reinstate another in full in order to restore social dialogue at the office.

In a general assembly, staff of the EPO gathered in view of SUEPO’s coming elections and voted on a resolution that has now been submitted to Campinos.

The resolution notes that Campinos has ordered a new disciplinary committee hearing against former chairperson of SUEPO Munich and chair of the EPO’s local staff committee in Munich, Elizabeth Hardon, with previous charges that were thrown out by the International Labour Organisation’s Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT).

SUEPO said that the ILOAT had already “castigated” the EPO administrative behaviour in two other cases against Ion Brumme and Malika Weaver.

Composed and published anonymously was also this new article from Kluwer Patent Blog:

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office must act and support president António Campinos in initiatives to end ‘the persistent atmosphere of intimidation’ at the EPO.

That is the message of a letter which was sent to the heads of delegation of the Administrative Council (AC) earlier this week by the EPO-FLIER Team, ‘a group of concerned staff of the European Patent Office who wish to remain anonymous due to the prevailing harsh social climate at the Office.’ EPO-FLIER has been active since 2014.

[...]

According to EPO-FLIER, it appreciates ‘that President Campinos has issued several promising declarations of intent, and hope[s] that they will now be swiftly followed by concrete actions.’

However, so far little or nothing has changed for people who came into conflict with Battistelli and were sanctioned, according to EPO-FLIER, which published a document on the status of EPO disciplinary cases earlier this month. ‘The staff considers most of the disciplinary measures taken by Mr Battistelli unfair, in particular those which targeted staff representatives, union officials and a Board of Appeal judge. During a general assembly this week, Munich staff [the Central Staff Committee] requested through a resolution that the damage done to their elected representatives be repaired and ongoing disciplinary proceedings be stopped. They also support the case of the staff representative and union official in The Hague whose case is currently pending at the ILO Tribunal.

Genuine social dialogue can obviously only take place when such restoration and compensation for the abuses of Mr Battistelli and his administration have taken place. Solving these issues would further help to overcome the persistent atmosphere of intimidation and allow the staff to fully focus on the work to be done.

Mr Campinos’ “trust capital” is already starting to erode. We therefore urge you to support him in introducing the changes the staff requests in its resolution’, EPO-FLIER wrote to the AC representatives of the EPO’s 38 member states, who act as the Office’s supervisory body.

Mind the first and sole (so far) comment:

Nothing is changing under Campinos since he has arrived last July.

He merely finishes the job of Battistelli and this with the precious help of Battistelli’s protégée Elodie Bergo. It is no surprise that his trust capital is eroding fast since his lovely words are not fooling the highly educated EPO workforce.

Also not to be forgotten, the production pressure on staff is not decreasing (so much for real patent quality), the exhaustion among staff remains at unsustainable levels coupled to fear of abusive sanctionings, which is the recipe for disaster (one may only wonder when the next suicide will occur only next time it will not be associated with Battistelli any longer).

Many elderly staff are leaving the EPO sooner than they thought since they cannot stand the circus any more, and also worrying more and more new comers are leaving the sinking ship after 2 to 3 years only.

I would advise all job applicants to have a look at this before applying
https://www.glassdoor.de/%C3%9Cberblick/Arbeit-bei-EPO-EI_IE198808.11,14.htm

SUEPO is still very quiet and secrective; it self-censors a lot. As the above puts it: “Nothing is changing under Campinos since he has arrived last July.”

Will temperatures rise again in 2019? Passivity isn’t helping as staff numbers dwindle (downsizing).

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