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The EPO’s Race to the Bottom — Part II — “Playing People Off Against Each Other is Not the Way We Want to Go Forward!”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Race to the Bottom — Part I — From Bad to Worse
  2. YOU ARE HERE ☞ “Playing People Off Against Each Other is Not the Way We Want to Go Forward!”

Conflict: Chess Knights
Dividing people along superficial lines such as colour (sectarian tactics)

Summary: The yellow unions and scabs at the EPO are part of a disturbing pattern that includes dog-eat-dog strategies; when a patent office is run by sociopathic politicians we can expect provocation and underhanded tactics, not science and policies based upon evidence

AFTER the so-called “first wave” of COVID-19 (when kids were returning to schools) “the Central Staff Committee (CSC) [said it had] requested from the administration an impact study [on Childcare, Education, Payment of School fees], as the Office used to do in the past each time the scheme was amended.”

“Europeans deserve to know what is done in their name (and at their expense).”The language used in the publication was remarkably polite and diplomatic, but the concluding words express growing dissatisfaction, seeing that António Campinos had the same objectives as Benoît Battistelli, albeit with a slight attitudinal difference (at least on the shallow surface). Battistelli had already done a lot of the ‘dirty work’ for Campinos (e.g. “Strike Regulations” which Campinos was happy to exploit for 3 years despite their illegality), so Campinos just carried on with the aforementioned ‘demolition’ job, turning a once-attractive patent office with high-calibre scientists into a notorious employer with low-skilled recruits (in relative terms, even compared to the USPTO).

Today we publish one among several papers that belong in the public domain. Europeans deserve to know what is done in their name (and at their expense).

Munich 18.09.2020
sc20016mp – 0.2.1/4.2.2

Education and Childcare Reform

Where do we stand?

The proposal for a reform of the Childcare, Education, Payment of School fees, and Expatriation (supplement) allowances, presented to us by the Administration, has been deemed by the President himself to “not constitute an adequate overview of the subject” and to be “a collection of working level background documents that provide fragmented information and which may in themselves only cause confusion”[1].

We note that, if the Administration decided to include the Staff Representation at much earlier stage into the development of this proposal, precious time could have been saved and the reform could have been already prepared in a way which protects the interests of all colleagues concerned.

However, in confirmation to what we told the Administration during the first meeting of the Working Group, their proposal[2] provoked a massive resistance amongst staff who will be on the losing side, expressed with numerous mails to us and to the Administration.

During this meeting we also raised the issue about the too short time of only few days we had for analysing and responding to the proposal and for elaborating on the terms of a transitional period. Following our complaint and the feedback received from colleagues in all places of employment, only six days after the first Intranet publication from the administration on the proposed reform, the President unilaterally decided to increase the timeline by one additional year[3].

Inevitably, the postponement attracted the attention of staff who would benefit from their inclusion into the discussed allowances, such as staff who are nationals at their respective places of employment, some of whom immediately reacted and requested the reform to be implemented as soon as possible.

Obviously, the proposal of the Administration artificially divides staff by trying to redistribute the money from the ones who benefit from the current situation (as this was stipulated in the ServRegs when they joined the EPO) and giving it to staff who have been excluded for years because of their non-expat status. Playing people off against each other is not the way we want to go forward!

[1] Letter from the President to the LSCTH, 30.07.2020
[2] Education and childcare reform, 24.07.2020
[3] Education and childcare reform, 30.07.2020

Despite the postponement, we continued working closely together with the WG colleagues from The Hague, Berlin and Vienna also during the holidays, conducted several meetings without the Administration and exchanged all possible information available in order to better understand the situation and the needs of each staff sub-group concerned. Meanwhile, the Central Staff Committee (CSC) has requested from the administration an impact study, as the Office used to do in the past each time the scheme was amended.

We will continue trying to achieve the best possible solution for all staff, first step of it being the inclusion of excluded staff to the existing allowances as initially planned with the aim to respond to the needs of all staff without redistributing and without reducing the budget.

Your Local Staff Committee Munich

We’ll continue to publish this series tomorrow and the rest of this week. It’s all about transparency. Names aren’t disclosed.

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