Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

Maintaining convenient illusions using sheer lies and distortion of facts

Claude RouillerSummary: The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)

ON "ILOAT decisions," as per what the EPO's 'Employment Law' wrote a week ago (Target group: DG4, DG5, President-DG0, DG1, DG2, BoA), there aren't many facts or much information. Lazy(ier) EPO staff might actually believe these 'Employment Law' people, in spite of the Office's history defying labour law and then falling back on "immunity" (after losing high-profile cases). We don't honestly think that ordinary staff is gullible enough to swallow this spin from 'Employment Law'. It's just an echo chamber ("DG4, DG5, President-DG0, DG1, DG2..."), telling one another what they want to hear and might actually believe. The statements can later be (re)used for lobbying purposes.



"Lazy(ier) EPO staff might actually believe these 'Employment Law' people, in spite of the Office's history defying labour law and then falling back on "immunity" (after losing high-profile cases)."We wrote many articles on the subject and thought a rebuttal would be in order. "That's how the ILOAT decisions were presented to the EPO staff," a source told us, giving us the complete text for independent assessment.

Shall we start? In quotes, in the remainder of this article, are the EPO's own words.

"ILO is not at all effective at dealing with EPO complaints. The ILO has repeatedly complained that it's unable to cope with the load. It always blames the EPO.""Report on the 123rd session of the ILOAT At its 123rd session, the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (the Tribunal) delivered 97 judgments involving 21 Organisations. In total the Tribunal dismissed the complaints in 60 judgments and granted them, partly or in full, in 37 judgments."

Notice the artistic pretense here (intended to disguise gross imbalance): 21 organisations. Among nearly 100, of which EPO is just one. About half of all the complainants are coming from the EPO. Mind this crucial omission. Does that not merit a mention? The above offers no breakdown of which organisations actually had judgments delivered. It is widely recognised as a fact that the ILO typically returns the complaints to complainants or to the Office (in other words, doing nothing at all, sometimes citing inadmissibility). ILO is not at all effective at dealing with EPO complaints. The ILO has repeatedly complained that it's unable to cope with the load. It always blames the EPO.

"The EPO just implemented a workaround to more or less dodge compliance.""The judgments have been exceptionally delivered in two steps with 4 judgments on 30 November 2016," the EPO said. We'll get to that, as we have repeatedly covered these judgments last year.

"The EPO took specific measures to address the orders contained in the two judgments delivered in November 2016."

The EPO just implemented a workaround to more or less dodge compliance. We wrote about that. It's a total disgrace.

The EPO says: "These judgments concerned the composition of the Appeals Committee (No. 3785) and the competent authority to hear a request for review (No. 3796)."

This has not been addressed.

"Nice selective quoting right there."Now watch Team Battistelli leaping to exploit "immunity!" by stating: "The judgment delivered by the Dutch Supreme Court on 20 January 2017 whereby the Court upheld the legal protection available to staff of the EPO through the internal..."

What on Earth does it have to do with that? The judges there clearly did not understand, as per the ILO's own statements, that ILO was incapable of dealing with the EPO's 'scatterback' of complaints.

"As for the EPO," says the EPO, "33 judgments were delivered in total, with 2 judgments on 30 November 2016 and 31 on 8 February 2017. In his introductory statement of the public delivery on 8 February 2017, the President of the Tribunal noted with satisfaction that: safeguarding the role of the Tribunal in the legal protection of staff of international organisations."

"Notice terms like "high success rate". It's utterly offensive to the victims of Team Battistelli."Nice selective quoting right there.

"Out of the 33 judgments involving EPO, the following figures are worth highlighting. 25 judgments confirmed in full the position of the Office. This is a high success rate in absolute (i.e. when compared to the EPO's own figures) as well as relative terms (i.e. when the EPO is compared to other international organisations)."

Notice terms like "high success rate". It's utterly offensive to the victims of Team Battistelli.

"3 judgments in which the substance of the challenged decisions was not at stake but where, due to the length of the procedures, moral damages have been awarded to the complainants (Nos. 3782 and 3795 for the duration of the internal appeals procedure and No. 3792 for a medical issue)."

How much was that damage (compensation)? They don't want to say. It's so meager that it's typically offensive; it doesn't even cover the lawyers' bills.

"...Team Battistelli will brush these under the carpet.""2 cases were lost on the substance (No. 3781 regarding school fees - Article 120a ServRegs - and No. 3788 regarding the computation of reckonable experience)."

Yes, just 2.

"3 judgments referring cases back to the EPO for resuming the internal procedures, without any comment on the substance of the challenged decisions. The decisions concerned relate to the right to strike and the New Career system (Nos. 3786 and 3796)."

In other words, Team Battistelli will brush these under the carpet.

"On the substance the following needs to be highlighted. In judgments Nos. 3786 and 3796 the Tribunal confirmed its case law (No. 3700, consideration 7) concerning the competent authority to hear a request for review or an appeal. Hence the Tribunal interpreted the applicable provisions (Articles 107(2), 109(2), 109(4) and (110(1) ServRegs) as follows.

"For employees appointed by the President, all requests for review must be lodged with, and decided by, the President; For employees appointed by the Council: requests for review against individual decisions concerning them and taken by the Council must be lodged with, and decided by, the Council, whereas requests for review against individual decisions concerning them and taken by the President must be lodged with, and decided by, the President.

"Furthermore, the Tribunal conveyed the following messages to the stakeholders. Defendant organisations need to handle staff requests and internal appeals diligently (judgments Nos. 3782, 3795 and 3792). Thus the Tribunal confirms its case law that dealings between an organisation and its staff should comply with the duty of care and due diligence.

"The overall message from the EPO: don't complain about the EPO.""Complainants should pay attention to the following messages. Care needs to be taken to identify the right decision to be challenged and to exhaust all internal means of redress before filing a complaint (judgments Nos. 3779, 3780, 3791, 3811).

"If a given situation has already been settled through previous judgments further cases raising the same topic will therefore be rejected on the same grounds (judgments Nos. 3786, 3789, 3806, 3810)."

More creative nitpicking:

"Several cases were found to be clearly devoid of merits as they raised "entirely unsubstantiated allegations [of harassment] and amount[ed] to mere assertions" (judgment No. 3806, consideration 6) and a further complaint was considered as being "no more than a collateral attack on judgment 3426" (judgment No. 3807, consideration 4) or "speculative assertions" (judgment No. 3808, consideration 5).

"Contact Claude Rouiller (ILOAT) at claude.rouiller@hispeed.ch to tell what the EPO thinks of his Tribunal.""To conclude, the Tribunal stressed again the respective responsibilities of the stakeholders for the functioning of the legal protection of staff through a system of internal and external means of redress. It is of paramount importance for all stakeholders to preserve it by using it in line with the above."

The overall message from the EPO: don't complain about the EPO. The ILO is too weak and understaffed to handle these complaints and we'll waste EPO budget on lawyers who will exhaust them to the point of inaction.

Of course, anyone who read the above message might have been led to the belief that all is "greener pastures" at EPO and Battistelli is just a victim of meritless complaint. Contact Claude Rouiller (ILOAT) at claude.rouiller@hispeed.ch to tell what the EPO thinks of his Tribunal. It's disgraceful. He ought to know about this.

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