07.27.20

EPO Management Wants to Introduce ‘Code of Conduct’ With Which to Impose Censorship of Staff Representatives’ Communications With Staff

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yet more censorship at the EPO (the term “Code of Conduct” is used), where Techrights is still blocked for providing accurate information to EPO staff

António the unsteady

Summary: António is still “unready” for real dialogue (more than two years later!) and he’s still exploring new ways to keep EPO staff misinformed

“Dialogue with a drug addict” is what our source called the following publication from the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO (not SUEPO), echoing the nickname “powder nose”. The other day an EPO insider spoke of “[a] “riffle man” Battistelli and “powder nose” Campinos.”

Certainly not alluding to drug use, albeit considering this rumour about an incident on a plane last summer there might be a drinking problem. The term “drug addict” refers to the behaviour rather than anything that staff representatives saw and here’s what they circulated a few days ago, having met António Streisand-Campinos 12 days ago (Streisand as in ‘Streisand Effect’):

Report on the meeting with the President

of 16 July 2020

“Social dialogue is when you listen to me.”

Mr Campinos invited the newly elected Staff representatives of the central (CSC) and local Staff committees (LSCs) for an inaugural meeting which took place by video-conference. Mr Campinos set the tone of his presidency for the next 3 years to come by stating his readiness to push his coming reforms concerning the Education and Childcare allowances, the Appeals Committee (ApC) and the New Normal.

“Social dialogue is when you listen to me”
Mr Campinos initiated the meeting by explaining the “rules of engagement” of his model of “social democracy”. According to him, social dialogue is not co-decision and it is the Office which has the power of making proposals. These proposals will be sent to “Working Groups” and the GCC, where the Staff representation can give its opinion, and may in the end be amended or not amended: “If we all understand these rules, then we can have social dialogue”. Although the Staff representation didn’t ask for it, Mr Campinos added that in his view co-decision cannot work, and the “Staff representation has the right to listen, to think and to give comments”.

We explained that we request early involvement in the preparation of reforms and that we never asked for co-decision, but Mr Campinos did not acknowledge the difference.

Education allowance – A consultation as short as the summer holidays
Mr Campinos explained that the topic of the Education Allowance is “an important and a sensitive one to be handled with care”. However, the consultation had not even started, yet the final GCC meeting had already been scheduled for the 1st of October. This fast timeline clearly aims at putting the negatively affected parents in front of a fait-accompli once they are back from their summer vacation. Mr Campinos’ intention to define a flat rate on the reimbursements will definitely impact the International Schools (mostly in The Hague) and the (private) crèches, and is anything but fair.

Career system and PhD recognition
Mr Campinos plans to standardise a “catch-up measure” for those deprived of pensionable rewards and to recognise PhD experience. As a prerequisite, Mr Campinos puts forward his principle of “affordability”. As the analysis of Ernst & Young has proven, this principle is based on a Financial Study which distorts the EPO finances with the purpose to reduce Staff benefits.

Travel budget
All meetings must continue to take place via video-conference. Until end of 2020 travels will remain extremely exceptional and the 2021 travel budget will be dramatically reduced.

Appeals Committee – Still room for improvement
Mr Campinos intends to address the question of a potential conflict of interest of the nominees sitting in the Appeals Committee (ApC). The proposal would allow that the nominees of the Staff representation may be chosen among all Staff, and not only among elected Staff representatives. This was a long standing request of the Staff representation.

However, the proposal he puts forward also prescribes that members of the ApC may not have pending appeals during their term. This would put our nominees in the following dilemma: either they will have no pending internal appeal or their term of office in the ApC will end. In our opinion, this requirement could make it very easy for the Office to get rid of nominees and could endanger their independence. We acknowledge the problem of a potential conflict of interest but believe that a better solution must and can be found.

Mass-emails for Staff representatives – A proposal devoid of any real effect
Since 2013 both the Staff representation and SUEPO have been deprived of free access to mass-emails, a unique situation in the world of international organisations. Mr Campinos declared that he is ready to make a proposal for Staff committees but set out three conditions: 1) No access to push emails, only pull access requiring explicit request from individual Staff members and the possibility to opt-out anytime, 2) A “supervisory committee” will check compliance with the EPO code of conduct – and be ready to enforce them, and 3) Establishment of a code of conduct on how to write mass emails. These conditions, if implemented as stated, actually make the proposal devoid of any real effect. Staff already has access to pulled information via the RSS feeds and our publication requests are already routinely checked and may eventually be censored.

Five year contracts – To be or not to be permanent
By the end of 2021, Mr Campinos plans to establish “clear and transparent” guidelines for the renewal of 5-year contracts, and their conversion to permanent contracts. We hope that Mr Campinos and his administration take this topic serious and for once provide guidelines that are clear and supportive to our colleagues with the aim of having a committed work force for the future of the EPO.

New Normal – Staff is the last stakeholder
A first draft on the New Normal is already available but won’t be presented to Staff or Staff representation until after Mr Campinos has reviewed the result of a Staff survey planned in September and consulted all external stakeholders and the Member States. This should be interpreted as Mr Campinos’ clear answer to our request for early involvement.

Conclusion
To conclude, Mr Campinos declared that social dialogue will be successful if everyone sticks to his role. He considers himself as being the one in charge of social dialogue. The site managers and the Vice-Presidents shall be met for local issues only, and “not to be addressed on the same issues again and again”. Despite some efforts on our part during the meeting to restart social dialogue, the President still does not clearly acknowledge the full meaning of genuine social dialogue.

In any case, we will continue to work for Staff’s rights and the mission of the EPO during the next three years. We are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration with the President and we would like to assure you that we will tirelessly insist upon transparency, honesty, integrity and professionalism. We will keep an eye on Office decisions and policies. We will shed light on changes, question in detail the actions of the administration and inform Staff accordingly, for the best of the Staff and the Office.

The Central Staff Committee

In short, not much has changed more than two years since Streisand-Campinos replaced Benoît Battistelli. SUEPO said “we are back to Battistelli’s times” and an upcoming survey shows that Streisand-Campinos is even less popular/trustworthy than Battistelli (after two years in charge of the Office). No wonder internal sources of ours say that EPO insiders already explore careers outside the EPO, seeing impending layoffs and institutional collapse. This can really hurt Europe. The conspicuous lack of media coverage and absence of oversight led to it.

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

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 28/1/2021: Stable Kernels and Sudo Bugfixes

    Links for the day



  2. Showing Solidarity With FSFE Survivors

    What does justice look like?



  3. IBM is Throwing Away Red Hat's 'de Facto Standard' Status in Servers, Wrongly Assuming People Can't (or Won't) Go Elsewhere

    This new video is over half an hour long and it’s a discussion of IBM’s self-harming (shot-in-the-foot) move, which it already seems to regret



  4. Why 6 Screens and 6 Virtual Desktops

    An explanation of how I use computers and how I distribute tasks (across screens and across virtual desktops)



  5. Red Hat Developer Network Promoting Microsoft's Proprietary Software, Sometimes by Mass-Mailing People

    Red Hat is doing a disservice to people who subscribe to E-mail newsletters; those people are almost never into Microsoft's proprietary software, which they want to get away from



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 26, 2021



  7. Links 26/1/2021: Mozilla Firefox 85.0, Tails 4.15, Zentyal Server 7.0, GNOME 40 Alpha

    Links for the day



  8. Instead of Making Access to COVID-19 Solutions Easier Bill Gates Has Made It Harder (Patent Profits)

    Counterproductively — and at a great cost to human civilisation — Bill Gates has once again put profits and monopoly ahead of global goals such as collective health



  9. We Need More Documents Leaked to Know Intel (From the) Inside

    We invite more leaks from the belly of the beast "chipzilla", seeing that it is becoming a drone of Microsoft again, yearning for the "Wintel" days instead of moving on to a world dominated by GNU/Linux and Free/libre software



  10. Why GNU/Linux Users (and the Public at Large) Should Support Leaking/Whistleblowing Sites (Including Wikileaks)

    To demonstrate the value of "scientific journalism" (a term apparently coined by Wikileaks) we take a look at Red Hat's response to embarrassing leaks (demonstrating what a scam their certification and examination programmes really are)



  11. EPO President António Campinos is Still Not Listening, According to Internal EPO Documents

    Increasingly arrogant and unaccountable management of Europe's second-largest institution (EPO) has left staff disillusioned but still defiant; there's clearly unsuitable or unfit-for-purpose management at the EPO, self-selecting based on nepotism/loyalty so as to cover up abuses



  12. Why You Should Give Falkon (the Web Browser) a Chance on GNU/Linux, BSD, or Windows

    In this crazy new world where advertisers are the real customers and Web users ("audiences") have been reduced to mere products we need a browser that isn't controlled by a company; try Falkon



  13. Kluwer Patent Spin and Distortion of Facts (Regarding UPC and More)

    Kluwer Patent Blog disgraces the firm that puts its name on it; instead of sticking to facts they're distorting the facts and the sole/principal goal is to manipulate/mislead the public and public servants



  14. Links 26/1/2021: 4MLinux 35.1, GParted 1.2, Gnuastro 0.14

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, January 25, 2021



  16. It's Wrong to Assume Red Hat Competes With Microsoft

    The community ought to stop pretending that one monopoly seeks to replace another despite close partnerships (some would say "collusion") between the two



  17. EPO Staff Representation Complains That EPO Management Exploits Pandemic and 'House Arrests' to Overwork Staff, Lower Quality

    The EPO keeps breaking its promises to workers; not only are key employees seeing their net salary cut (inflation factored in) but pensioners too are being robbed and in the meantime the total time spent on work is increasing



  18. Fake News is Not a 'Wing' Thing

    The two-party corporate-led system (and media) would have us obsess/bicker about accuracy of news based on some binary/dual system of blind loyalty rather than underlying facts and priorities



  19. Links 25/1/2021: Huawei on GNU/Linux, NuTyX 20.12.1, Whisker Menu 2.5.3, Lutris 0.5.8.3, Linux 5.11 RC5

    Links for the day



  20. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) in ZDNet is the Norm

    ZDNet continues to emit lots of garbage 'journalism', in effect Microsoft PR and what's known as "black PR" for Linux; just like Bleeping Computer, which ZDNet hired this writer from, there's no adherence to facts, just smears and innuendo



  21. Truth Tellers Aren't an Enemy of Free Software

    There's a perpetual attack on people who speak out against actors and corporations in positions of great power, however subtle and indirect those attacks may seem on the surface (they don't wish to be held accountable for defaming activists)



  22. The Linux Foundation, With Over 124 Million Dollars in Annual Revenue, is in Trouble Because of the Pandemic, So It's Trying to Reinvent Itself as Training and Certifications Outfit

    With mountains of cash and a Public Relations (PR) or marketing business model the so-called 'Linux' Foundation became reliant on travel, lodging, booths and speeches on sale; COVID-19 is a great risk to that business model



  23. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 24, 2021



  24. Our Move Further Away From the World Wide Web, the Browser Monopolies, HTTP, and HTML

    The World Wide Web (WWW) is going down a bad path and a clearly regressive direction; the solution isn't going 'retro' but exploring more sophisticated systems which are robust to censorship (localised or globalised) and downtime (related to censorship) while reducing surveillance by leveraging encryption at the endpoints



  25. Important Issues Not Entertained in the Community, Especially Critics of the Status Quo

    here's corporate infiltration inside communities (for oligarchy hunts volunteer, unpaid labour) and those who speak about that as a threat to our cause and objectives are painted as misguided outcasts who must be ignored



  26. Internet Origins of the Mob

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  27. When Proprietary Software Users Dictate the Freedom-Leaning Communities

    Fedora doesn't care about software freedom and its steward (or parent company) is sometimes imposing proprietary software on staff; they've quit caring



  28. In 2020 Onwards 'Open Source' is Just a Marketing Ploy of Monopolies, Unlike Free Software

    More people are nowadays seeing or witnessing 'Open Source' for what it truly is; the term has become a misleading marketing term of proprietary software firms looking to rebrand as "ethical" (e.g. by sharing some code with other proprietary software firms, over proprietary platforms such as GitHub)



  29. Microsoft: The Year After We Bought GitHub There Was a Significant Decline in Number of New Projects on GitHub

    Microsoft has just admitted that in 2019 GitHub saw a very significant decline in number of new projects (and users, which it is conveniently miscounting by adding 'phantom' ones) on the site. Just what we had heard before they confirmed it (and they foresaw this effect of the takeover, hence the lies about "loving" Linux).



  30. Social Control Media is a Passing Fad, We Should All Go Back to Blogging and Subscribing to RSS Feeds

    The whole "social control media" phenomenon has been oversold or promoted using lies; in reality, as a mountain of evidence serves to show, it's a way to manage society at a macro scale


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