10.14.21

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EPO Management Tricks EPO Staff Into Taking More Paycuts

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: “Education and childcare reform” [sic] is an António Campinos “reform” in the same sense regressive salary reductions are just “adjustments” (euphemism); Electronic opt-in gaffes, according to staff representatives, show that the tradition of Benoît Battistelli carries on at the Office, taking away from staff for a few corrupt officials to milk the institution to death

“We sent a letter to the [EPO] President,” the Central Staff Committee of the EPO writes, “to inform him that several colleagues who are opting into the New Education Allowance System later realised that they are losing other benefits such as the expatriation allowance supplement. It is only after seeing their September payslip that they became aware of the disadvantageous situation.”

“The letter was sent the day before yesterday and someone has leaked it to us.”Central Staff Committee (CSC) representatives aren’t the same as the union, so the language is more diplomatic. The letter was sent the day before yesterday and someone has leaked it to us. “The number of staff affected is not merely accidental,” says the CSC. “The change of regulation and the information provided are so extensive and cumbersome that many staff were unable to identify accurately their own present and/or future situation and perform complex calculations to compare the new scheme to the old scheme. We are concerned that the Office considers the opt-in as immediately irrevocable following a one-click on a webpage. We suggest that the administration provides a grace period for staff wishing to reconsider their opt-in. It would show that our Office strives to be a caring organisation.”

For the general public to better understand the situation at the EPO (or why the EPO can no longer recruit suitable workers who can obstruct abstract patents that lack novelty and/or merit), here’s the full letter as HTML:

Reference: sc21122cl
Date: 12/10/2021

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY
Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

By email

OPEN LETTER

New Education Allowance System
Electronic opt-in

Dear Mr President,

Several colleagues who are opting into the New Education Allowance System later realised that they are losing other benefits such as the expatriation allowance supplement. It is only after seeing their September payslip that they became aware of the disadvantageous situation.

The number of staff affected is not merely accidental. The change of regulation and the information provided are so extensive and cumbersome that many staff were unable to identify accurately their own present and/or future situation and perform complex calculations to compare the new scheme to the old scheme.

We are concerned that the Office considers the opt-in as immediately irrevocable following a one-click on a webpage.

It is common practice, especially when an agreement affects the employment conditions and the employee might incur a financial loss, as it is the case here, to provide beforehand the agreement specified to the individual for confirmation with signature. The digital form should state explicitly and exhaustively the terms to which the individual agrees, to ensure that the transmission of information is voluntary and informed. Following receipt by the administration of the confirmation, the general rule is to set a retraction period before the agreement becomes final.

For these reasons, we suggest that the administration provides a grace period for staff wishing to reconsider their opt-in. It would show that our Office strives to be a caring organisation.

Finally, we would like to point at the importance of this matter as the EPO administration transitions towards a fully digitalised interaction with staff. Surely, other agreements will be made electronically in the future.

Yours sincerely,
Alain Dumont

Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

Don’t worry about the Office. It already sits on a big mountain of money it's not supposed to even have! The authoritarian Frenchman still has the nerve to moan about a “gap”…

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