12.07.20

The Non-dialogue: EPO “Staff Representatives Retire or Resign Before Expiration of Their Term of Office Because of Their Fatigue and Disillusionment.”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Part 3 of 3 (see part 1 and part 2)

EPO fatigue
Staff Representation on “urgently needed “Quick Fixes” for social dialogue”

Summary: Central Staff Committee representatives write to EPO President António Campinos about an “Urgent Call for ‘Quick Fixes’” (noting that the war on staff representatives persists)

BACK in June (of last year), the Central Staff Committee wrote to Campinos the following letter, saying that “the social dialogue should be improved.”

Rock fishing on the cliff with big wavesWe kindly remind our readers who are not EPO insiders that this was months after a supposedly ‘nice’ or ‘better’ person had been given the top role, promising that he would magically resolve issues by talking to — and also listening to — EPO staff. As the letter makes rather evident, those were empty promises and patience was running thin. Here’s the letter to Mr. “non-dialogue” (who later said that he just needed to listen — for pretence of “dialogue” — but not actually change his decisions based on anything he was told, or facts that he was presented with).

Reference: sc19085cl-0.3.1/1.3.1
Date: 19.06.2019

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081

Urgent Call for “Quick Fixes”

Dear Mr President,

In the upcoming Administrative Council meeting Staff Representatives still hope to report that social dialogue at the EPO is improving. Unfortunately, we currently observe that the pace of progress in the Working Groups “Resources and Communication” and “Adjustment to the performance management system and procedure for incompetence” has been alarmingly slow.

In the “Resources” Working Group, for example, discussions led to the conclusion that a number of “quick fixes” should come into force on 1 July 2019. However, as no meeting of the Working Group is foreseen before that date, it seems highly unlikely that this will actually happen. Without an explanation as to why this commitment is not being honoured, Staff Representatives see nothing more than delaying tactics on the part of the Administration. Such tactics make it impossible for us to act in the best interests of Office and staff members. The longer the “Resources” situation remains unchanged, the more serious the impact. Our contingent is shrinking in numbers as Staff Representatives retire or resign before expiration of their term of office because of their fatigue and disillusionment. This, in its turn, is increasing the exhaustion of the Staff Representatives that remain.


As the aim of our committees is to improve relations between staff and management by functioning at full capacity, we therefore urge you to immediately implement1 our proposed “quick fixes”, in particular with regard to both an increase in time budget and the introduction of flexibility in how we distribute this time budget. We also urge you to encourage your services to “pick up the pace” in both Working Groups, as we remain optimistic that by working together we can achieve significant progress in many areas.

Yours faithfully,

Joachim Michels
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

Annex: “Circular 356 – Quick Fixes”, emailed to WG Resources on 29 May 2019

____
1 According to Article 14(3) of the currently applicable Circular 356, “The President may take any further measures necessary to ensure a smooth transition to the new system”. The President would therefore comply with this Article by now implementing the time budget provisions provided in the amended version of Circular 356 (sent to the “Resources” Working Group on 29 May 2019, attached), pending proper GCC consultation of the amended Circular.

There’s the Annex below (no PDF because of metadata):

EPO quick fixes 1

EPO quick fixes 2

EPO quick fixes 3

EPO quick fixes 4

EPO quick fixes 5

EPO quick fixes 6

EPO quick fixes 7

Here’s the message which was addressed to EPO staff at the time:

Letter to the President on urgently needed “Quick Fixes” for social dialogue

Dear colleagues,

Following the discussions with the President on 3 June the social dialogue should be improved. The present letter requests to lift limits hindering the Staff Representation to function at its full capacity in the interest of staff and the Office. We furthermore urge the President to encourage to “pick up the required pace” of progress in the Working Groups “Resources and Communication” and “Adjustment to the performance management system and procedure for incompetence”, as we remain optimistic that by working together we can achieve significant progress.

[...]

We keep you posted on the developments.

Your Central Staff Committee

We now have this 3-part series which demonstrates how quickly the so-called ‘social dialogue’ broke down and whose fault it was.

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