03.18.22

Gemini version available ♊︎

EPO Union: “It is Now Time to Make a Political Statement” and “Go on Strike!”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 43c056ec689d15e0387d2487cd573900
EPO Strike Explained
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: This coming Tuesday the EPO staff goes on strike, and as we last noted yesterday, they have a lot to be angry about (it’s not about money but about upholding the law)

THE staff union of the EPO in all EPO sites (in this case SUEPO The Hague) is calling for participation in the strike 4 days from now. Benoît Battistelli has already attacked staff in The Hague, even French staff, for ‘daring’ to exercise such rights or for merely asking colleagues how they felt about the Office. As far as we know, António Campinos has not (yet) resorted to such low blows, but he’s still plundering thousands of workers using the typical pretexts and excuses.

Joining EPO strikeAs the video above notes, the publication below — the latest among several — focuses on financial aspects. The industrial action strives to curtail many fake patents, including European software patents, so we ought to support the examiners’ actions.

“The employer-employee dynamics need to change for this problem to be tackled.”The publication shown in the above video is also replicated below (for text version and GemText version). The image on the top right shows what sort of motivational posters they’re using; the other day Munich’s branch of SUEPO altered one of its own.

Here’s today’s publication:

18 March 2022
su22007hp – 0.2.1 – 0.3.1

Why this is the moment for a Strike

Dear members, dear colleagues,

Originally, in 2020 when the SAP (Salary Adjustment Procedure) was introduced it came with the possibility of reversibility should the Office’s financial situation differ from the expected base 2 scenario of the financial study.

After application of the SAP during the extraordinary economic conditions of the pandemic, the Office finds itself in an even more healthy financial situation. Two years of implementation reduces already the long-term liabilities of around €1.33 billion.

Now is the moment for staff to request the reversibility of the application of the SAP. The political statement created by this strike is the means to give force to such a request.

Looking ahead, in view of the Ukrainian war and sanctions, the economic outlook appears to further extend the extraordinary economic situation of high inflation and low/negative growth.

The EPO staff cannot accept further deterioration of its purchasing power. This is the moment for the administration to reverse the SAP! This is the moment for us to strike!

When the Education and Childcare reform was decided at the Administrative Council in June 2021, thanks to the petition signed in The Hague by 1075 colleagues, among other actions, the Dutch delegation made clear that if the reform would prove to lead to unequal treatment among sites and discrimination of staff in The Hague they expected the administration to correct and improve the reform. The administration committed itself then to monitor the outcome of the implementation and to correct any aspect of the reform if necessary.


Almost a year after, more and more colleagues are experiencing the unequal treatment and discrimination of The Hague staff in comparison to the other sites. The number of requests for review from The Hague illustrates well the situation parents in The Hague are facing.

The time has come for us to make the political statement and bring the administration to hold to their word by correcting and improving the reform. Before the start of the new school year when most of the transitional measures are over, it is the moment for us to strike.

Finally, a positive and hopeful development that we observe at SUEPO TH: a membership increase of staff who joined the office after 2009. We interpret this development as a sign that younger staff members are becoming more engaged and recognize the importance of solidarity and of organizing themselves via the union. These colleagues report that among their peers there is a growing feeling that being informed and taking part in the actions is seen as a form of actively participating in the office’s life.

Most of these colleagues will take part in a strike for the first time. For this reason, we feel proud and hopeful in this moment of strike.

You are already making the legal case!

It is now time to make a political statement – together with our colleagues from the other sites1 – go on strike!

And let the EPO stakeholders know that the EPO staff needs to be taken into account!

________
1 Message of our colleagues in Munich

As we explained here many times before, a lot of EPO examiners strongly oppose software patents; but as they’re managed by politicians and military men/women who haven’t the faintest clue/interest in science they’re being compelled to grant patents against their will (like orders to shoot). The employer-employee dynamics need to change for this problem to be tackled. The union leaders say: “EPO employees can no longer accept further deterioration of their purchasing power and working conditions. It is now time to make a political statement – together with our colleagues from the other sites – go on strike! Join the strike! Make Tuesday, March 22 an effectful day!”

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