Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO's Staff Union Calls for Continued Industrial Actions as Some Media Belatedly Catches Up With EPO Strikes

Video download link | md5sum 48536793e6ab3cc01f2b608f33f73eff EPO Strike Recognised Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Things are heating up at the EPO; management is unwilling to address key issues as the conflict grows and even some media is willing to mention (at long last) what truly goes on

THE EPO is making workers more upset. António Campinos has the social skills of a mug and his dialogue/negotiation skills are hardly better than Benoît Battistelli's. He keeps faking accomplishments by granting lots of Invalid Patents (IPs), notably European Patents (EPs) that are just software patents in a new gown (like "Hey Hi").

The only thing Campinos has going for him is the silence (complicity) of the media. IP Kat deleted comments critical of him and most other patent blogs pretend not to see what's really happening at the EPO. They want people to think that Campinos is some sort of magician who just by virtue of being parachuted onto the Office somehow solved all the problems. And after repeatedly ignoring the issue, devoting not even a single sentence to is, Max Walters or his publisher finally acknowledge the EPO's crisis. "As the EPO’s staff union claims victory in recent strikes, sources assess whether renewed unrest is having a practical impact on IP [sic] owners [sic] and if more is likely," Max Walters wrote this week. The staff union took note of his article when it disseminated the following letter to staff:

6 April 2022 su22022cp - 0.2.1

IP world sets eyes on SUEPO’s successful Industrial Actions

President still inactive. General Meetings coming up

Following the industrial action of past 22nd March, SUEPO sent a letter to the President on 30th March inviting him to negotiate the staff demands behind the industrial actions.

The effects of the current industrial actions are now visible1 to the outside IP world. Unfortunately, and despite the importance of dialogue between SUEPO and the administration for social peace, SUEPO has not received any reaction to its invitation letter.

SUEPO regrets the lack of management's engagement.

SUEPO will call for General Meetings with a view to intensify the level of Industrial Actions. In the meantime, SUEPO is waiting at the negotiating table.

Your SUEPO Committee

____ [1]          Managing IP article link. Kluwer-Patent Blog link

Separately, on the same day, SUEPO also issued a call "for a continuation of the Work-to-Rule actions" (basically refusing to work faster than necessary, adhering to the EPC instead). To quote the publication, which is discussed in the video at the top:

6 April 2022 su22021cp - 0.2.1/0.3.2

DG4 All-Together

A celebration of cuts on career and salaries

On 30 March 2022, EPO staff was invited to participate in a DG4 All Together online event. In the meeting, Mr Campinos and Ms Simon (VP4) self-celebrated their achievements and consistently mixed environmental and societal sustainability with financial sustainability in an attempt to shed a positive light on their cuts on career and salaries. During the Q&A session, staff took the opportunity to express their concerns about the reward exercise excluding at least 40% of staff from any career progression. This is how our top management reacted (see video):

I don’t believe in “Café para todos”1: that every year, everybody gets a bit, a piece because we all were there [...] The extraordinary, the extraordinary mile, the high performance team, the ones that 24/7 worked day and night. Those are the guys that will get the pensionable reward or the cash bonus. Not everybody just for showing up. [...] Fairness is something else than actually pouring a 100 Eur over everybody rather than really signaling extraordinary effort.” (Ms Simon, @01:23:30)

Again going back why people don’t get rewards and just get a “Thank you”. I would love to get a “Thank you”. You know, money, handing over money is sometimes there just because you don’t want to stand up and say “Thank you”. This is what gives you pride and sense of belonging to this organisation.” (Ms Simon, @01:25:21)

“We can do better in terms of long-term investments but at the end of the day we have no direct levy over the market. On what we expend, on expenditure, on our increase in salary mass, yes, we do. So that’s there we have to primarily act. That’s what I think.” (Mr Campinos @01:31:13)

When you said, you know, the reward, whether it’s pensionable or non-pensionable, it’s about celebrating something which is different, needs to be different, needs to be outstanding compared to what we did or what we do. If not, then we fall under the trap of coming back to an automatic progression system. When I surveyed my staff, I mean our staff, in our former agency [EUIPO] where we worked, one of the things that our staff would say very consistently is that they were against the automatic progression system.” (Mr Campinos, @01:38:13)

After 4 years at the EPO, Mr Campinos would be well-advised to listen to his “new” EPO staff on the many pitfalls of the New Career System which has no equivalent among other international organisations and treats EPO staff as “third class” civil servants.

Despite having closed the alleged “gap” of the Financial Study 2019, management continues to allege financial “sustainability” to continue to make unjustified cuts on staff’s career and salaries regardless of their efforts instead of working on the sustainability of the workforce, the most valuable asset of the EPO.

The more staff will produce, the less staff will get

SUEPO calls for a continuation of the Work-to-Rule actions

______ 1 "Café para todos" (coffee for all, or coffee for everyone) is a popular expression in Spain that has the sense of offering the same treatment to all parties involved in an issue in order to please (or displease) everyone equally.

It is noteworthy that they've outsourced EPO meetings to Microsoft (US), which is really bad for all sorts of reasons. They've 'normalised' something which probably violates several laws and we're meant to just ignore it. Is EPO just a 'branch' of Microsoft now?

Anyway, EPO managers are pretending to work hard, having got the job not for any hard work but for connections (nepotism) and they're shamelessly pretending it's not about money while bagging millions of euros in one term. That's insulting the intelligence of EPO staff, which is on average more qualified, more skilled and more experienced than those so-called 'managers' (friends of friends).

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