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Tomorrow is the First Anniversary of Strike Against President Campinos at the European Patent Office

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Team UPC’ is now doing to European patent courts what it has already done to Europe’s largest patent office, the EPO (the comments below are only hours old)


Summary: The science-hostile Team Battistelli/Campinos is likely to see industrial action some time soon; as workers put it last year, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”

As we noted here yesterday, we’re fast approaching the one-year anniversary of the EPO’s strike that saw nearly half of the workers in Austria refusing to work for the whole day. Now that Team UPC is scheming to undermine the law through Austria and Slovenia (see the 15 comments here) we thought it would be worthwhile reproducing here reasons that are still valid to protest or strike. They’re not been tackled and we didn’t publish this two-page publication last year. The following text is as relevant as ever:

su20015mp – 0.2.1/0.3.2


Defending our working conditions from permanent erosion. Defend your future.


Attacks on staff working conditions

Dear colleagues,

During this year of pandemic our management has not hesitated to carry out far-reaching reforms negatively impacting our work package, our lives and our futures while completely ignoring most of staff representations input: salary adjustment procedure (SAP), preposterous distribution of cash injections1 into the SSP disproportionately benefiting higher management, and no fix to the broken career, or the uncertain fate of our colleagues on fixed-term contracts.

The cut in adjustment of our salaries and pensions through the application of an imposed salary adjustment procedure (SAP)1 is the latest and most brutal attack on all of us. Instead of an adjustment of about 3.8 % in July 2020, EPO staff and pensioners will get 0.5% in January 2021 (in The Netherlands and in Germany). This is equivalent to a pay cut of about one step and causes a loss of purchasing power (-0.3% below German inflation) in its first year of the application. For next year, a result of 0% adjustment is expected and already announced by the administration. If not fixed, the SAP will year by year decimate our salaries and pensions just for the sake of unnecessary savings.

The EPO is a rich Organisation
Even in this year of pandemic the EPO will make hundreds of millions of euros in profit:

€380 M surpluses in 2020

The year-to-date performance of the EPO funds (EPOTIF and RFPSS) is €3 bn higher than forecasted in the Base 2 scenario of the Financial study chosen by Mr Campinos and thereby already proves today that even based on the flawed Financial Study, the cut in adjustment our salaries and pensions with the new SAP is unnecessary.

1 “16 for me and 1 for you” (sc20153cp) by the CSC (16-10-2020)
2 “Proposals for repairing the EPO new salary “adjustment” procedure” (sc20172cl) by the CSC (17-11-2020)

The current application of the SAP results into accumulated savings amounting to € 1 bn from 2021-2025. The money taken from our salaries will add a further huge pile of money to the one of the EPOTIF amounting to € 2.9 bn.
The creation and governance of the EPOTIF constitutes an anomaly for a public institution such as the EPO and has even been brought to the attention of the European parliament3 4.

Contempt for staff and their representation
Management seems to believe that the staff of the EPO are in a state of paralysis and will not react, no matter how hard they will be hit, as if the pandemic would have anesthetised our senses. This seems to be the only explanation for the current attacks after years of loyal and competent work. Indeed, year after year, Council meeting after Council meeting, managers and Heads of Delegations keep praising the results of our work, the great working atmosphere, the huge production with ever reducing working staff. Only to come some days later with new and inventive attacks on our working conditions. Changes are always imposed, making a mockery of the consultation with Staff Representatives.

SUEPO is determined to fight these attacks. The future of the Staff, the stability for our families, the respect of the engagements made (pensions, careers) are more important that the big pile of cash the president wishes to accumulate. Nobody should play with our salaries and our pensions.

We propose for staff to stand up and face these attacks.
For the kick-off we propose to send a strong signal:

1 day of strike of all EPO staff
during the plenum of the Administrative Council
15 December 2020

In the same manner we have shown that we can work during the pandemic we will now show that we can defend our future during the pandemic. Speak with your colleagues and invite them to join us even if they are not members of the Union. We will need all your support!

Let’s show together our strength!


3 Question for written answer E-003298/2020 to the Commission
4 Answer given by Mr Breton on behalf of the European Commission

So tomorrow (or midnight when we publish The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXV) is the one-year anniversary of the strike. More strikes might get the message across to the “anesthetised” (to borrow the above word) Administrative Council.

Abraham Lincoln quote

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