Bonum Certa Men Certa

'New Pension Scheme': EPO Staff Faces Stubborn and Mean-Spirited Managers While Trying to Take Money Out of British Pension Schemes, Escalation to International Tribunal Next

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Jan 10, 2024

ILOAT

Related: The Pension Money That EPO Employees Might Never See | EPO May be Financially Defrauding the Public and Its Employees | Financialization of the EPO Will Doom Europe's Largest Patent Office

THE EPO coverage continues to be a daily theme here (expect lots more). 2 days ago we wrote about mistreatment of staff. Discrimination was mentioned.

Way back in October SUEPO Central Bureau (the staff union) said:

ILOAT Submission - Dossier RI/2018/058 - Contribution rates to the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and Salary Savings Plan (SSP)

On the 28 July 2023 the Office issued its final negative decision on the appeal case RI/2018/058 concerning the contribution rates to the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and Salary Savings Plan (SSP). According to the regulations of the Tribunal, a complaint must be filed within a 90 days period from the decision. If you received the decision on the 28 July 2023 your deadline is by the 26 Oct 2023.

SUEPO has engaged a reputable law firm to prepare the necessary documents for your submission to the ILOAT.

At the same time the representatives (of staff, not the union) wrote to the EPO's management. The Central Staff Committee wrote: "In this open letter to the President, we request that the Office follows unanimous opinions in favour of staff."

Here's the full open letter:

Central Staff Committee
Comité central du personnel
Zentraler Personalausschuss

centralSTCOM@epo.org

Reference: sc23124cl

Date: 13-10-2023

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO
ISAR - R.1081

OPEN LETTER

Rejection of appeals on NPS/SSP benefits despite unanimous opinions in favour of staff

Dear Mr President,

We write to you to express our worries with respect to a trend we observe when exhausting the internal means of redress as available under the Service Regulations, the Pensions Scheme Regulations or the conditions of employment. There is a disturbing tendency that opinions given by the Appeals Committee (ApC) in favour of the appellants are neglected by the administration. This disrespect to the ApC opinions will most probably trigger further complaints before the Tribunal.

On 30 May 2023, the ApC issued an opinion in respect of appeal RI/2018/058 concerning changes to contribution rates to the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and Salary Savings Plan (SSP). The ApC’s opinion was unanimous and comprised inter alia the recommendation that changes should be re-examined on the basis of an actuarial evaluation of the new pension scheme architecture, including both the NPS and the SSP. On 28 July 2023, Ms Simon (Vice-President DG4) rejected the appeal and decided not to mandate the actuaries to re- examine the changes to contribution rates.

On 21 June 2023, the ApC issued an opinion in respect of appeal RI/2018/070 concerning the calculation of reckonable years for those NPS plan members who transferred pension rights from a national pension scheme to the Office’s pension scheme. The ApC’s opinion was unanimous and recommends that all appeals be sent back to the Office for re-evaluation of the age coefficients used for retroactive application on

the appellants. The actuaries should be asked to set these age coefficients as if they had been set had the Office requested them in a timely manner, i.e., in 2009, when the New Pension Scheme came into force. On 22 September 2023, Ms Simon (Vice-President DG4) rejected the appeal.

Both cases are of importance for hundreds of members of the NPS/SSP who expected the appointing authority to follow the recommendations of the EPO internal justice body. They are now left with no other option than to pursue the cases in front of the Tribunal.

The rejection of these appeals is also difficult to reconcile with the Office’s official statements1 that “dialogue takes precedence […] with a strong focus on the prevention and early resolution of disputes (emphasis added). It appears that the Office intends to adopt a strictly detrimental approach towards staff on appeals concerning staff benefits. We request that the Office follows unanimous opinions in favour of staff.

Sincerely

The Central Staff Committee

Yours sincerely,

Derek Kelly
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

_____

1 Communiqué of 23 June 2023, « Update on the ILO Administrative Tribunal »

We assume EPO staff is smart enough and perfectly aware that the EPO has been turned into a financialization scheme/scam. The money clawed back from staff might never be seen in the future.

“We have this culture of financialization. People think they need to make money with their savings rather with their own business. So you end up with dentists who are more traders than dentists. A dentist should drill teeth and use whatever he does in the stock market for entertainment.” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. … We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that … We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive.” ― Stacy-Marie Ishmael

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