Gemini version available ♊︎

Over 1,000 EPO Workers Initiate Legal Challenge Against the EPO’s Attack on Salaries (in Defiance of Assurances Made to Workers Who Relocate to Another Country With Whole Families)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO open letter

Summary: The EPO’s attack on workers and pensioners isn’t going ahead without challenge; while the “Mafia” (what EPO workers call the management) loots the organisation it takes away money from the workers — i.e. from besieged folks who do all the work and face growing workloads during a pandemic

THE Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) is a misnomer or a euphemism for crackdown on patent examiners past and present. The crackdown started with Benoît Battistelli, who in effect began looting the institution. Systematically, undeterred. Nobody holds them accountable for it!

50 Euro“It is hardly surprising that many colleagues and pensioners (at least 1.200 requesters) are now taking legal action against the new Salary Adjustment Procedure,” the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO wrote this month. “We understand from a President’s [António Campinos] letter of 25 March that he intends to reject the requests for review and he is already planning the next step of requesting a test-case procedure at the internal Appeals Committee. In this reply to his letter, we explain why we are currently reluctant to recommend to staff to identify test appellants. However, we are interested in contributing to the proper administration of justice. We would therefore be willing to support a bona fide proposal to the AC leading to a decision that the result of the litigation on the salary adjustment procedure will be applied to all employees and former employees of the EPO as well as their successors in title.”

We’re reproducing the full letter below:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – Room 1081


Reference: sc21044cl
Date: 01.04.2020

Your letter of 25 March 2021 – Legal proceedings on the Salary Adjustment Procedure

Dear Mr Campinos,

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) regrets that you submitted a proposal for a new salary adjustment procedure (CA/19/20) to the Administrative Council (AC) that had not found the consent of the CSC. Although a manageable number of test appellants lodged requests for reviews inter alia against the flawed consultation process on your proposal and against the resulting freeze of salaries and pensions in the second half of 2020, you still decided to submit an adjustment with effect from 1 January 2021 of salaries (CA/66/20) to the AC.

The resulting salaries and pensions are in breach of basic legal principles, such as equal treatment at different places of employment. It is easy to understand1 that the current salary scales do not reflect the coefficients of purchasing power parity in Table 6 attached to the AC decision CA/D 9/20. Furthermore, pensioners are excluded from a periodical settlement and a pay-out of a lump sum after a three-year period, in contradiction to Article 33(2)(c) EPC.

It should therefore not be surprising that many colleagues and pensioners are now taking legal action. The CSC understands from your letter that you intend to reject the requests for review and are already planning the next step of requesting a test-case procedure at the internal Appeals Committee.

The CSC has been open ever since for an agreement on its locus standi so as to

1 Employees looking up their basic salary in the table for Belgium (Table 1 attached to CA/D 9/20) and multiplying this value with the coefficient of purchasing power parity for their place of employment (Table 5) will observe a higher salary than on their salary slip (or in Tables 2 to 4).

have an efficient and functioning system for the settlement of disputes. Therefore, overloading the system should definitely be avoided.

You mention in your letter that the Office is willing to apply the final outcome of the legal proceedings regarding the new salary adjustment procedure “to all staff provided they are in the same situation, in fact and law”. The CSC regrets that the wording is even more restrictive than Article 13 of the Rules of the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO allowing an intervention in a complaint if a requestor is “in a situation in fact and in law similar to that of the complainant”. (Emphasis was added to both quotes.) Furthermore, the CSC took note that you recently followed in your negative decision on the NCS for colleagues in the A4(2) grade an opinion of the Appeals Committee reading inter alia that “statements of the President … were not, however, considered to constitute an enforceable and substantive promise made”.

Finally, the CSC cannot see a category of employees or pensioners to whom the final outcome of the legal proceedings would not apply.

In view of the above, the CSC is currently reluctant to recommend to staff to identify test appellants. However, the CSC is interested in contributing to the good administration of justice. The CSC would therefore be willing to support a bona fide proposal to the AC leading to a decision that the result of the litigation on the salary adjustment procedure will be applied to all employees and former employees of the EPO as well as their successors in title.

The CSC would further appreciate if you could exempt the staff from the obligation to exhaust the internal means of appeal by authorising them to challenge a decision directly before the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO2.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

2 Such an approach permitted a swift access to court for the employees of the ILO, IOM, ITU, WHO and WIPO, who successfully challenged the adjustment of their salaries in 2018 and who received the Judgments Nos. 4134–4138 already one year later.

Whether speaking rationally to a kakistocracy that shamlessly lies to everyone is going to yield any results… well, that remains to be seen. But at least they make their case clear.

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New

  1. [Meme] False Choices and False Dichotomy Designed for Self-Harm

    The self-serving EPO surveys, which Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos design to justify their own policies, have severe flaws in them

  2. Links 27/10/2021: XOrg Server 21.1 and Makulu Shift Ubuntu Variant Released

    Links for the day

  3. Links 27/10/2021: Murena for /e/ and Red Hat Condemned for Its Nationalism/Racism

    Links for the day

  4. [Meme] EPO Presidential Surveys

    The 'social democracy' of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos as demonstrated by a controlled survey (controlled by the subject of the survey, EPO governance)

  5. 'Shaping the New Normal' Survey at the EPO Got 5,554 EPO Staff to Participate, But It Was Controlled by Liars With an Agenda

    Last year’s EPO ‘study’ (hogwash about “quality” and other unscientific junk) was likely biased by virtue of autocrats controlling it and exploiting it for nefarious agenda and brainwashing of national delegates. The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) has a new survey in the making.

  6. Many of the National Delegations (or Delegates) in the EPO's Administrative Council Have No Understanding of What They Vote on

    One must consider the possibility that ignorance or gullibility (which lack of qualifications may entail) possibly became a contributing factor — malice and bribery aside — in systemic failure of the EPO’s governance

  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League - Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?

    We take stock of "captured states" that voted in favour of unlawful "Strike Regulations"

  8. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 26, 2021

  9. Beatriz Busaniche Speaks Up in Defense of Richard Stallman

    Beatriz Busaniche sent us this comment in July 2021. She wrote it originally in Spanish. Here are both the original text and our translation to English.

  10. Links 26/10/2021: SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 and Multi-Distro Benchmarks

    Links for the day

  11. Links 26/10/2021: Vulkan 1.1 Conformance for Raspberry Pi 4 and Tor Browser 10.5.10

    Links for the day

  12. [Meme] Sounds Legit

    When not cheating on the wife, the EPO‘s “doyen” cheats in the exams and makes it into the epi Council, in effect working “[t]owards a common understanding [sic] of quality” with “patent attorneys nominated as “assessors” by the EPO, epi and BusinessEurope” (notorious lobbyists for dictators, litigation, and monopolies, neither business nor science)

  13. [Meme] Mayoral Patent Office Chief

    As it turns out, political 'double-dipping' isn't just a thing in North Macedonia, Austria, and EPOnia

  14. Romania's Patent Office (OSIM): Nine Different Chiefs in Just Eight Years

    The Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM), being the equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the sense that it covers both patents and trademarks, is a very flaky institution with no shortage of scandals; for our English-reading audiences we now have a summary of a decade’s worth of blunders and leadership changes

  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League - Romania

    Romania’s patent office has been in flux this past decade, occasionally led by people with no relevant experience, but rather political connections (like EPO President António Campinos) and sometimes forged documents and fake degrees

  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 25, 2021

  17. [Meme] “Social Democracy” at the EPO

    Some comments on the current situation at the European Patent Office from Goran Gerasimovski, the new EPO Administrative Council delegate for North Macedonia and Social Democratic candidate for mayor of Centar (a municipality of Skopje)

  18. [Meme] António Campinos Visits the OSIM

    António Campinos visits OSIM Director-General Ionel Muscalu in February 2014

  19. [Meme] [Teaser] Meet the President

    Later today we shall see what Romania did for Battistelli

  20. Links 26/10/2021: Latte Dock 0.10.3 and Linux 5.15 RC7

    Links for the day

  21. Gemini Protocol's Originator: “I Continue to Care About This Project and I Care About the Community That Has Formed Around It.”

    'Solderpunk' is back from a long hiatus; this bodes well for Geminispace, which grew fast in spite of the conspicuous absence

  22. Bulgarian Like Bavarian Serfdom

    Bulgarian politics seem to have played a big role in selecting chiefs and delegates who backed Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful proposals, which treat workers almost like slaves and ordinary citizens as disposable ‘collaterals’

  23. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria

    Today we examine the role of Bulgaria in Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO (as well as under António Campinos, from 2018 to present) with particular focus on political machinations

  24. Links 25/10/2021: New Slackware64-current and a Look at Ubuntu Budgie

    Links for the day

  25. Links 25/10/2021: pg_statement_rollback 1.3 and Lots of Patent Catchup

    Links for the day

  26. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud

    Today we tread slowly and take another step ahead, revealing the nature of only some among many problems that GitHub and Microsoft are hiding from the general public (to the point of spiking media reports)

  27. [Meme] [Teaser] Oligarchs-Controlled Patent Offices With Media Connections That Cover Up Corruption

    As we shall see later today, the ‘underworld’ in Bulgaria played a role or pulled the strings of politically-appointed administrators who guarded Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO

  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 24, 2021

  29. Links 25/10/2021: EasyOS 3.1 and Bareflank 3.0

    Links for the day

  30. The Demolition of the EPO Was Made Possible With Assistance From Countries That Barely Have European Patents

    The legal basis of today's EPO has been crushed; a lot of this was made possible by countries with barely any stakes in the outcome

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