Bonum Certa Men Certa

EPO: We and Microsoft Will Spy on Everything (No Physical Copies)

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Apr 22, 2024

Discontinuation of central printing and storage

THE Central Staff Committee of the EPO has written to António Campinos (along with Steve Rowan, who outsourced the EPO to Microsoft) and shared some information with colleagues. The letter is dated last Thursday and it is summarised as follows:

Dear Colleagues,

The discontinuation of on-demand paper files was announced on 26 March 2024 during the Easter Holidays and implemented a few days later on 1 April 2024. No statutory consultation in the COHSEC and the GCC took place beforehand. The decision took staff by surprise without any transitional period and hence was negatively perceived, especially among the non-negligible number of colleagues still working on paper.

While some examiners have fully adapted to a complete paperless work, there is a substantial number of examiners who, for various reasons, continue to work with paper dossiers. As acknowledged in the IPI note, examiners will still be able to print the documents individually at the local printers. However, this measure is not enough from an organisational point of view at examiner level. These paper dossiers need to be stored and more importantly, to be retrievable by the examiner in charge at any moment in order to perform a proper examination work.

In this open letter, we propose that the service of providing examiners with file wrappers labelled with stickers be maintained so that locally printed dossiers can be easily stored in an organised manner.

Sincerely yours

The Central Staff Committee - CSC

They recently made a joke, but there's nothing funny about that. It's a serious problem [1, 2]. They're hiding all their misconduct in Microsoft systems that spy on workers.

Here's the full letter:

European Patent Office
80298 Munich
Germany

Central Staff Committee
Comité central du personnel
Zentraler Personalausschuss

centralSTCOM@epo.org

Reference: sc24023cl

Date: 18/04/2024

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

Mr Steve Rowan
Vice-President DG1

By email:
president@epo.org
vp1@epo.org

OPEN LETTER

Discontinuation of central printing and storage of paper dossiers

Dear Mr President,
Dear Mr Vice-President of DG1,

The discontinuation of on-demand paper files was announced on 26 March 2024 during the Easter Holidays and implemented a few days later on 1 April 2024. No statutory consultation in the COHSEC and the GCC took place beforehand. The decision took staff by surprise without any transitional period and hence was negatively perceived, especially among the non-negligible number of colleagues still working on paper.

While some examiners have fully adapted to a complete paperless work, there is a substantial number of examiners who, for various reasons, continue to work with paper dossiers.

It is appreciated that, as acknowledged in the IPI note, examiners will still be able to print the documents individually at the local printers. However, this measure is not enough from an organisational point of view at examiner level. These paper dossiers need to be stored and more importantly, to be retrievable by the examiner in charge at any moment in order to perform a proper examination work.


We propose therefore that the service of providing examiners with file wrappers labelled with stickers be maintained so that locally printed dossiers can be easily stored in an organised manner.

This will contribute on the one hand to minimise paper use (stored and retrievable documents do not need to be printed several times) and on the other hand to keep the efficiency of the examiners concerned.

We believe that this solution would be a fair recognition of the needs of staff and would contribute to repairing the damages caused among the concerned staff by the sudden implementation without consultation.

Yours sincerely,

Derek Kelly
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

Derek Kelly seems to be under attack at the moment. It's coming from a splinter group or seemingly "yellow" union (that's not even a union).

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