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EPO Staff Representatives Not Amused to See an Office That Steals From Staff and Even From Pensioners

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clear and overt abuse of diplomatic immunity

Negotiator Campinos; After 'social dialogue'

Summary: The heist continues; the EPO isn’t just a milking cow of Germany but also of EPO officials who keep the ‘lid’ or the ‘cover’ on this whole financial instrument, which would enrage member states if they truly understood what’s going on

EARLIER today the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO circulated a letter to colleagues. In it, the CSC basically shared the raw numbers, annotated to explain to staff what was really going on at their employer, which was hoarding loads of money (possibly by granting hundreds of thousands of invalid patents) and then denying access to that money, instead passing it to dodgy accounts where it can be gambled away for somebody’s personal benefit. This is corruption. We’ve covered it before and noted that as per the EPC the EPO isn’t supposed to harvest stakeholders’ funds like that, let alone divert the money to gambling while punishing staff, even former staff.

“This is corruption.”“The actual budget surplus for 2020 came to €348.9m,” the CSC said. “The original budget of Chapter 30 – Staff was underspent by €83.2m (5.1%). One main driver: whereas the budget anticipated a 2.5% salary adjustment as of 1 July 2020, the new method resulted in 0.5% salary adjustment effective on 1 January 2021.”

Here is the entire one-page publication as simple HTML:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich 17.05.2021
sc21058cp – 0.2.1/1.3.2

2020, a year of historic savings on the backs of staff

Dear colleagues,

The budget implementation statement for the 2020 accounting period was recently published in CA/10/21. The impact of the pandemic and how positively it has influenced the budget of the Office is laid clear for all to see. The data provided speaks for itself, as you will see from the excerpts below;

“The actual budget surplus came to €348.9m, 4.2% below 2019, but significantly above the budget figure of €242.2m.” (page 27)

“The original budget of Chapter 30 – Staff was underspent by €83.2m (5.1%), mainly due to the deviation in the number of paid employee-years (PEYs) between budget and actual figures [...] A new salary adjustment method was introduced in 2020. Whereas the budget anticipated a 2.5% salary adjustment as of 1 July 2020, the new method resulted in 0.5% salary adjustment effective 1 January 2021. [...] These were the two main drivers behind the underspend.” (page 36)

“Remuneration of other employees covers mainly interpreter costs related to diverse oral proceedings, mainly opposition and appeal. Given the difficulties related to holding oral proceedings during the coronavirus pandemic, there was an underspend against this article of €5.1m (64.6%).” (page 37)

staff welfare which recorded an underspend of €3.4m (58.4%) owing to a significant reduction in canteen subsidies paid in the year due to the sharp increase in home working in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (page 37)

We highlight that only €4.8m1 was needed for Mr Campinos to extend the benefits of the current Education and Childcare allowances to all staff without affecting negatively anyone. This represents a meagre 1.4% of the €348.9m budget surplus for 2020 and only 5.7% of the -€83.2m savings made on the backs of staff during the Covid-19 pandemic and after the disastrous salary adjustment procedure. In view of the -58% reduction on “staff welfare”, specifically due to the reduction in canteen subsidies, we wonder why it was not decided to use this surplus to keep our caterers afloat across all sites. So much for thanking you for your efforts during the pandemic.

Your Central Staff Committee

1 CA/7/21 (page 17/31): the yearly overall budget for the Education and Childcare allowance is decreased by – €3.7m from €76.6m to €72.9m. The transitional measures are foreseen to cost €62m over 15 years and they will cost €8.5m for the first year. Mr Campinos only needed €4.8m to make the reform to the benefit of all.

“We highlight that only €4.8m was needed for Mr Campinos to extend the benefits of the current Education and Childcare allowances to all staff without affecting negatively anyone,” the CSC told staff. “This represents a meagre 1.4% of the €348.9m budget surplus and only 5.7% of the -€83.2m savings made on the backs of staff. So much for thanking you for your efforts during the pandemic.”

Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are basically looting the Office and killing it in the process, granting loads of fake patents like European software patents that stand no chance in court (and no, the UPC isn’t happening!), which means that those who will lose billions of euros are those misled into pursuing such European Patents in the first place. A similar thing happened at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Ask all those people who got software patents before Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101.

To put it crudely, it’s a fake economy. The EPO ‘generates’ money by giving false hopes to people, raising lots of funds from people who wrongly perceive European Patents to be worth the paper they’re on. Only the lawyers will benefit, mostly those who are based around Germany/Munich, stimulating only their own profession and that local economy while lining the pockets of kangaroo courts and corrupt Office officials. More on that shortly (“Part 10: A Faustian Pact?”).

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