Bonum Certa Men Certa

This Week's Letter to António Campinos About Mean-Spirited Line Managers at the European Patent Office (EPO)

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Feb 22, 2024,
updated Feb 22, 2024

A performance check

THE Central Staff Committee of the understaffed EPO, where staff feels chronically depressed, wrote to António Campinos earlier this week. In a communication to staff the representatives explained:

Appraisal reports for performance of 2023: Unfair and unequal treatment

Dear Colleagues,

Line managers recently finalized drafting of appraisal reports for assessing staff’s performance in 2023.

The feedback we have received from staff thus far reveals significantly different styles of reporting.

Some line manager’s assessments have been appreciated for their benevolent style, thereby fostering staff engagement and motivation. However, we observe an increasing trend among other line managers to lower appraisal box markings and to include negative comments despite more than satisfactory performance.

Consequently, staff members feel unfairly and unequally treated with regard to appraisal reports. We would like consideration to be given to how this change impacts the engagement and morale of the staff, and how the relation between line-managers and their team members may be affected.

Appraisal reports are the centrepiece of the reward exercise[1] and will considerably influence the subsequent reward exercise. The latter will be tainted by the same flaws.

We observe that appraisal reports for performance of 2023 are not objective and remain subject to managerial arbitrariness resulting in unequal treatment.

In this letter to the President, we request a reaction from him and recall that we remain open for discussions in Working Group meetings to improve the situation.

Sincerely yours,

The Central Staff Committee - CSC

The thing to note about the following open letter is, "staff members feel unfairly and unequally treated" because an "increasing trend among other line managers [is] to lower appraisal box markings and to include negative comments despite more than satisfactory performance."

This text is similar to (but not the same as) the above.

Seems like a way to get rid of staff. Some will resign in anger.

European Patent Office
80298 Munich
Germany

Central Staff Committee
Comité central du personnel
Zentraler Personalausschuss

centralSTCOM@epo.org

Reference: sc24014cl

Date: 19/02/2024

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR - R.1081

By email: president@epo.org

OPEN LETTER

Appraisal reports for performance of 2023

Dear Mr President,

As you know, line managers recently finalized drafting of appraisal reports for assessing staff’s performance in 20231.

The feedback we have received from staff thus far reveals significantly different styles of reporting.

Some line manager’s assessments have been appreciated for their benevolent style, thereby fostering staff engagement and motivation. However, we observe an increasing trend among other line managers to lower appraisal box markings and to include negative comments despite more than satisfactory performance.

Consequently, staff members feel unfairly and unequally treated with regard to appraisal reports. We would like consideration to be given to how this change impacts the engagement and morale of the staff, and how the relation between line-managers and their team members may be affected.

Appraisal reports are the centrepiece of the reward exercise2 and will considerably influence the subsequent reward exercise. The latter will be tainted by the same flaws.

We observe that appraisal reports for performance of 2023 are not objective and remain subject to managerial arbitrariness resulting in unequal treatment.

____

1 Launch of 2024 rewards exercise | INTRANET (epo.org)

2 Confirmed by the Appeals Committee dealing with denial of step advancement appeals and ILOAT judgment 4711


We are looking forward to your response and remain open for discussions in Working Group meetings to improve the situation.

Yours sincerely,

Derek Kelly
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

We already know that the EPO tries to reduce the capacity to actually examine patent applications. All the Office cares about is the quantity of monopolies it is selling (usually not to European entities; the EPO sells European monopolies to non-Europeans).

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