Bonum Certa Men Certa

Management-Friendly Staff Representatives at the EPO Voted Out (or Simply Did Not Run Anymore)

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Apr 17, 2024

SUEPO Executive Committee The Hague 2023

The EPO's staff representatives get elected based on perceived loyalty to staff, not to the people who oppress the staff (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cronies)

THERE is a positive development in the otherwise-quiet EPO (not much happening this month, at least publications-wise).

We don't want to name anyone ("The Heart of Staff Rep" is impersonal), but we covered this back in January, identifying 3 individuals who had threatened to snitch to EPO management. The good news is that they're no longer in a position of authority, as per the SUEPO TH (The Hague) digest for this month (April 2024). It doesn't look like they even ran at all. 514 people voted (43.93% turnout; 1,170 were eligible) and the outcome seems OK.

The digest they sent out reads as follows:

Employment Law: 

As for the case of the NPS/SSP contribution rates of 2018 (see here), the appeals committee (ApC) issued unanimous opinions stating that the Office had violated the principle of duty of care, in that there had been no actuarial evaluation of the NPS as a whole, including the SSP. Both appeals were rejected by the EPO and no re-evaluation will take place, contrary to the recommendations of the ApC. This left appellants no other choice than to pursue their cases in front of the ILOAT in February 2024. Read more here and here.

In early February, SUEPO members having been diagnosed with an invalidating disease were given the opportunity to file an intervention at the ILOAT. See more details here

In recent judgments, the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO (ILOAT) declined jurisdiction for possibly unlawful orders from managers to members of Examining or Opposition Divisions interfering with the Divisions’ sole competence to take decisions on patent applications or opposed patents. The Central Staff Committee (CSC)'s proposal to address this legal vacuum was rejected by the President, see here. 

Related to the above, the new workflow involves “line managers” and a “DG1 independent review panel” which is particularly worrying as they have disciplinary powers, reporting authority and play a decisive role in the career advancement of the members of Examining Division under the new career system. More details here.

The rewards distribution took place April 2024. The rewards envelope seems to have been reduced (see the letter sent to the President here, and CSC publication here). An updated version of the guidance on what you can do in case of no rewards is in the pipeline. 
If you are struggling with your objectives for 2024, we strongly advise seeking help early, please see here for more details.
Registered partnerships 
The EPO changed its regulations recently to recognize registered partnerships. Please refer to the intranet announcement of 08.01.2024, especially if you entered a registered partnership before Jan 1st 2024, this is relevant for you and your partner.

Recent events 

The General Assembly of the LSCTH took place on 6 February in the Auditorium and online, followed by drinks offered by SUEPO.  
The topics were Recruitment & Job groups 5&6, Objective setting & Performance management, Reminder appraisal reports, Update on Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP), Update on New Pension Scheme (NPS) litigation - see the full report here.  
The EPO has since published a quality action plan 2024, which is not fit for the purpose of  achieving the key goals set out in the adopted resolution. To be continued...

Our administrator Marc has been busy organizing that members receive their login details to the EasyVerein platform which are also used for logging into the SUEPO app. We encourage everyone, especially our members to install the app, available on Google Play and on the App Store.

Staff representatives from all sites came together for 3 days of “academy” where we learnt from each other about the topics we work on: the EPO healthcare insurance system, the legal system, the salary adjustment procedure, the career system, the SP2028, etc... 
Publications & activities since our last SUEPO TH digest:

 On our radar: 

Kind regards, 
Your SUEPO TH committee 

Many of the links above (but not all) are password-protected.

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