01.21.21

The Central Staff Representatives (CSC) of the EPO Are Petitioning to End the Assault on EPO Staff

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ice-covered sign

Summary: The EPO, just one month after the staff went on strike, is about to receive a compelling petition to stop the assault on EPO staff

The EPO’s staff union (SUEPO) and the Central Staff Representatives from the CSC are joining hands again to protect staff from the scams of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos. Of course the media is not mentioning any of this and so-called ‘news’ sites about patents are far too busy lying about the UPC (the EPO’s management issued a puff piece about Canada earlier this week, reaffirming commitment to litigation rather than innovation and presumption of innocence). In the meantime, however, we’d like to share the latest impending action at the EPO, which follows strikes and mass-mailing campaigns (end of last year).

“…they’re taking away money from existing staff and even old pensioners who are already stressed enough trying to avoid a lethal virus (lethal to their age group).”“Please do not forget to take part in the petition against the implementation of the new Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP),” the Staff Representation wrote, stressing the importance of collectively opposing the SAP, which we shared a lot of documents about last year. The word “Adjustment” is a misuse of the term; in reality, they’re taking away money from existing staff and even old pensioners who are already stressed enough trying to avoid a lethal virus (lethal to their age group). Here’s some text from the call for participation in the petition — a call that was extended in the deadline sense:

Due to the current Coronavirus measures at the EPO, the partial lockdown (max 15% occupancy) in all sites till the end of January and the extra week of holidays allocated by the President from 4 to 8 January, the CSC has decided to extend the limit date to take part in the petition till the 31st of January.

For the second time in EPO history a new Salary Adjustment Procedure has been adopted without the consent of the Staff Representation and its implementation next year will have an unprecedented deleterious impact on the evolution of our salaries and pensions. Instead of an adjustment of about 3.8 % in July 2020 in Germany and The Netherlands (2.73% in Austria), EPO staff and pensioners will get 0.5% in January 2021 (0.36% in Austria). This does not even keep up with the living costs in our host countries (HICP Inflation: DE 0.80%, NL 1.70%, AT 1.10%) ! For more details about how the new SAP [...]

In order to massively show our discontent to the Administration, please join us in agreeing to the petition to the President and to the delegations in the Administrative Council against the implementation of the new SAP by sending an e-mail (content does not matter) before Sunday 31 January from your EPO-account [...]

The petition itself reads as follows and it’s dated one week before Christmas Day. We strongly encourage each and every member of staff to join this petition as the risk associated with doing so is little to none. There’s a lot that collective action can accomplish, even if the media looks the other way.

Munich, 18.12.2020
sc20190cp – 0.2.1/0.3.2

Petition against the implementation of the new Salary Adjustment Procedure

I note that

• for the second time in EPO history a new Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) has been adopted without the consent of the Staff Representation,

• the implementation of the new Salary Adjustment Procedure will have an unprecedented deleterious impact on my salary (and future pension), by not even keeping up with the living costs at my place of employment,

• I have a legitimate expectation that my remuneration (and future pension) keeps pace with the living costs at my place of residence, which were the conditions of employment in force when joined the EPO,

• I further have a legitimate expectation that my remuneration develops in parallel with that of civil servants in European countries, which were the conditions of employment in force when joined the EPO,

• the implementation of the new Salary Adjustment Procedure will impact staff far beyond the declarations of intent made by the President,

• the implementation of the new Salary Adjustment Procedure violates the principle of equality of purchasing power, which requires that the purchasing power of an entry in the salary table is the same irrespective of the country of employment or retirement.

I express

• my extreme disappointment and dissatisfaction regarding the implementation of the new Salary Adjustment Procedure by which the current Administration neglects its duty of care and will stop honouring my legitimate expectations that my remuneration keeps up with the living costs at my place of employment and that it respects the principles of parallelism and parity of purchasing power.

I urge the Delegations in the Administrative Council and the President

• to postpone the application of the capping mechanisms of the new Salary Adjustment Procedure,

• to maintain in the meantime the Salary Adjustment Procedure without capping,

• to reopen the discussions with the Staff Representation with a view to finding a workable agreement on an amended new Salary Adjustment Procedure which respects the principles of parallelism with salary evolution of national civil servants and equality of purchasing power in all places of employment taking into account in a commensurate manner the long-term sustainability of the EPO.

If the majority of the staff joins the petitioners (Staff Representation), and if the Delegations in the Administrative Council still ignore the petition, that will say a lot about the state of the EPO, where the Administrative Council has 0% (yes, zero, i.e. no degree of trust) among staff, based on last year’s survey.

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