12.15.20

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This Week We Shall See If the EPO’s Administrative Council, Led by Josef Kratochvil, is Complicit in a Financial Scam

Posted in Europe, Finance, Fraud, Patents at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Europe’s second-largest institution is in peril as long as nobody wants to end the corruption (either due to fear or because of personal gain)

Whose servant? Now servant of the person he was supposed to supervise
Reference: Josef Kratochvíl

Summary: The administered-by-the-Office ‘Administrative’ Council is having a webchat this week while EPO staff is on strike; it remains to be seen if it’s merely complicit in the financial scams run by the Office, e.g. Salary Adjustment [sic] Procedure (SAP) and EPOTIF (looting EPO workers for gambling purposes or personal gain by managers and former managers)

“The new Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) will already lead in the first year of its implementation to a massive, irreversible salary cut,” the staff representatives of the EPO wrote this morning, then citing selective bits of the letter below, sent 4 days ago to heads of delegations, who now assemble virtually for the Administrative Council’s meeting, ‘attended’ virtually by António Campinos and ‘in spirit’ by his boss, Benoît Battistelli.

Josef KratochvilThe representatives ask: “Will the AC delegations accept being further misguided?”

“…as per a recent survey, a round total of 0% (yes, zero) of staff trusts the Council.”That’s putting it politely as we’ve long suspected some of them were complicit and several stakeholders in member states were personally benefiting — financially or otherwise — from participation in this financial scam/fraud.

Here’s the full letter, which cites for backing the Association of the European Patent Office Pensioners (mostly retired examiners):

Reference: sc20186cl – 0.3.1/1.3.1/4.2.2
Date: 11.12.2020

To the Chairman and
The Heads of Delegation of the
Administrative Council of the
European Patent Organisation

OPEN LETTER

New Salary Adjustment Procedure: need for action

Dear Mr Chairman,
Dear Heads of Delegation,

Staff have already had an eye-opening moment with the new Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP), which now materialises with CA/66/20. It will already lead in the first year of its implementation to a massive, irreversible salary cut. At the same time, the Office is announcing a massive yearly surplus and massive increases in the Office funds (RFPSS and EPOTIF). Reality is disproving the dystopian assumptions and forecasts that resulted in financial measures unnecessarily imposed on staff.

The Staff Committees have organised virtual general assemblies, virtual floor meetings and mail actions where staff expressed their anger. On 15 December staff will have a symbolic one-day strike (“Enough is Enough”).

The implementation of the SAP in its first year exposes the illegality of decision CA/D 4/20 and the failures of the Office management1, who is still attempting to mislead staff and other stakeholders.

The question now arises. Will the delegations accept being further misguided and persist in a course which ultimately puts the sense of belonging to a common organisation at risk?

____
1 See also the letter sent by the Association of the European Patent Office Pensioners on 8 December 2020 (annexed). Active staff are future pensioners.


It is high time that the delegations open their eyes and exercise their supervisory role.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

Annex: Comments by the Association of EPO Pensioners on CA/66/20


Vereinigung der Pensionäre des Europäischen Patentamts
Association of the European Patent Office Pensioners
Association des pensionnés de l’Office européen des brevets
Vereniging van de gepensioneerden van het Europees Octrooibureau

Der Vorsitzende
The Chairman
Le Président
De Voorzitter

Curt Edfjäll
curtedfjaell@googlemail.com

8th December 2020

For the attention of:
• Mr Josef Kratochvil, Chairman of the Administrative Council
• Heads and Deputies of Members States Delegations on the Administrative Council
Copy to:
• Mr Antonio Campinos, President of the EPO
• EPO Central Staff Committee
• Council Secretariat
• Board of EPO Pensioners Association.

Dear Mr Kratochvil,
Dear Heads and Deputies of Member States Delegations on the Administrative Council,

Subject: Comments by the Association of EPO Pensioners on CA/66/20, “Adjustment with effect from 1 January 2021 of salaries… and of pensions paid by the Office.”

With CA/D4/20 the Administrative Council approved the new methodology for adjustment of salaries and pensions. Article 10 of CA/D4/20 reads: ”Any positive adjustment resulting from the application of Article 9 and carried forward after three annual salary adjustments will be paid out to employees as a lump sum in proportion to the basic salaries and allowances they received over the three-year period.”

With document CA/66/20 the Office is now presenting the results of the implementation of the methodology from the decision of CA/D4/20. The Association has only recently been made aware of the existence of CA/66/20 and of the negative and unequal effects it will have on pensioners in comparison to active staff.

In point 24 of CA/66/20, the Office presents the excess adjustment not applied in January 2021 for the four countries in which the Office employs staff. CA/66/20 does not specify which excess adjustments have not been applied in countries where EPO pensioners use the salary scale of the country in which they are resident. CA/66/20 states that the remaining balance is carried forward to a redistribution pool which will be used in next year’s adjustment and for a potential one-off payment after 3 years of application of the salary methodology.

Pensioners Association Comments on CA/66/20
Page 1 of 2


The Association has on several occasions asked the Office for explanations as to how the redistribution pool works for pensioners. Only by mail to the Chairman of the Association dated 7 December 2020 did the Office clarify that although the mechanism of excess adjustment is applied to pensioners, the lump sum will not be paid out to pensioners at the end of the 3-year period. I quote from the mail from VP4: “Any remainder of the carried forward adjustment will be paid as a lump sum only to employees in return for their active contribution to the Office’s success in these difficult times.” I wish to recall that today’s pensioners have all also contributed to the success of the EPO and should therefore not be treated unequally to active staff.

VP4 further states: “the principle of equal treatment has been respected.” It is evident that this is not correct. By not according any payment from the redistribution pool to pensioners, there is no equal treatment.

It is thus clear from the Office’s statement above that the Office intends to use the redistribution pool as a kind of bonus payment for active staff, which was certainly not the intention behind the new methodology. However, any money in the redistribution pool resulting from the excess adjustment applied to pension payments will not paid out to pensioners although this money has been taken from their pension payments.

EPC Article 33(2)c states: “The Administrative Council shall be competent to adopt or amend the Pensions Scheme Regulations and any appropriate increases in existing pensions to correspond to increase in salaries.”

The proposal to implement the new methodology so that pensioners do not benefit from the payment of a lump sum at the end of the 3-year period is thus in contradiction to the EPC itself and constitutes an unequal treatment of pensioners compared to active staff.

The Association assumes that the Administrative Council was also not aware of the way the Office intends to apply Article 10 of CA/D4/20 and its negative effects on pensioners.

The Association therefore respectfully requests the Administrative Council to instruct the Office to apply EPC Article 33(2)c correctly so that also pensioners will be given treatment equal to that applied to active staff such that the pensioners will also benefit from a lump sum payment.

Curt Edfjäll
Chairman of the EPO Pensioners’ Association

Pensioners Association Comments on CA/66/20
Page 2 of 2

The likely correct perception that the Council is complicit in it all (seeing the current role of Ernst and previous role of Kongstad, before he was removed for scandals) means that, as per a recent survey, a round total of 0% (yes, zero) of staff trusts the Council. It’s seen as a big part of the problem, incapable of correcting it (because it is unwilling to).

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