02.19.21

EPO Crisis Under António Campinos – Part 2: Madame Bergot Reportedly Goes Ballistic

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:45 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Previously in this series: Part I

Salary adjustment page zoomed in

Summary: Le Guern was a key player in the controversial revision of the EPO salary adjustment procedure which led to a loss of purchasing power for active staff and pensioners

In this instalment we continue our coverage of the controversy triggered by the mysterious “disappearance” of the EPO’s “Compensations and Benefits” expert Gurvan Le Guern.

We start off by recalling that on 4 February this year the EPO staff union SUEPO issued a communiqué to its members in which it reported on Le Guern's sudden and unexplained absence from official duties since 6 November 2020.

“He also achieved prominence as a leading advocate of the alleged “technical fairness” behind cash injections into the Salary Savings Plans which were perceived to disproportionately benefit top managers.”SUEPO noted that after António Campinos took up his position at the EPO in July 2018 he had relied on Le Guern as his leading financial expert.

Le Guern was present as an advisor to EPO management in all meetings on the controversial “Bundle of Financial Measures” proposed by Campinos to deal with the “black hole” which he claimed to have discovered in the EPO’s finances with the assistance of Mercer and Oliver Wyman.

Salary adjustment page

In particular Le Guern was heavily involved in the hotly disputed revision of the EPO’s annual salary adjustment procedure.

He also achieved prominence as a leading advocate of the alleged “technical fairness” behind cash injections into the Salary Savings Plans which were perceived to disproportionately benefit top managers.

According to SUEPO, Le Guern was last seen by the EPO staff representation on 5 November 2020 at a meeting of the internal Advisory Group on Remuneration. The purpose of that meeting was to discuss the results of the first application of the new salary adjustment procedure which had led to a palpable and significant loss of purchasing power for all EPO active staff and pensioners.

SUEPO noted that since then Le Guern has been registered as “Out of Office” in the EPO’s internal calendar system. At the same time several vacancy notices published on the EPO intranet indicated that his department is currently undergoing significant “reorganisation”.

SUEPO’s conclusion was that “Mr Le Guern now joins the long list of directors in the Principal Directorate 4.3 of Ms Bergot who either leave the Office or move to another department.”

According to insiders close to the action the EPO’s head of HR, Madame Bergot, was livid about the contents of the communiqué and was particularly incensed by the fact that it was reported on by Techrights.

Elodie BergotMadame Bergot (on the right) reportedly went ballistic over the SUEPO communiqué.

After Bergot reportedly went ballistic and threw a “hissy fit” the EPO President Campinos decided to row in behind her.

In correspondence which has been published on the EPO Intranet Campinos has openly accused SUEPO of crossing “red lines” and has demanded an unconditional retraction and apology. SUEPO has so far refused to comply with this “respectful request”.

An update concerning the most recent developments in this saga follows in the next part.

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