Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Same Mismanagement and Micromanagement (Stalking/Bullying) That Caused the 'Suicide Wave' Under Benoît Battistelli



Last summer: EPO Management Severely Harms the Health of Staff by Bullying Them

This month: Corrupt Administration at the European Patent Office is Causing a Mental Health Crisis (published shortly before the letter below)

Micromanagement



Summary: Micromanagement and microaggressions have become an habitual occurrence and reality ("new normal") at the EPO; managers try to push salaries downwards and they pressure examiners to grant patents in violation of the rules

THE Local Staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH), or people who were recently (re)elected by EPO staff (representation by consent, not by decree like António Campinos), says there is growing concern for the mental health of EPO workers. Benoît Battistelli showed this can culminate in fatalities, but he, unlike managers at France Télécom, was never held accountable because the EPO operates with complete impunity.

"Threatening tone from managers during a health crisis is worse than tasteless. It can kill."The letter below was disseminated among thousands of EPO workers earlier this month. It does not name any manager in particular, but it does speak of "constant reminders to increase the production pace, repeated seemingly over-zealous quality checks, relentless micromanagement, part-time request rejections, etc..."

There is also the "I'm paying you!" excuse for abusing people and 'casually' breaking the law (or EPC). There's a mention of "colleagues in higher grades who are apparently being told that they are “being paid too much”, colleagues who are more fragile due to health conditions or having young children, colleagues on 5-year contracts, etc..."

Here is the full message:

Work pressure and micromanagement - Are you suffering at work? Contact health practitioner and staff representation



Dear colleagues,

Due to under recruitment the pressure to produce has been increasing over the years.

We have been made aware of colleagues – whose work was previously often recognized, appreciated and rewarded - now being put more and more under intense scrutiny by their line management. This can take many forms, e.g. constant reminders to increase the production pace, repeated seemingly over-zealous quality checks, relentless micromanagement, part-time request rejections, etc...

Although this situation is affecting most colleagues, we note a pattern that certain groups seem to be particularly targeted: colleagues in higher grades who are apparently being told that they are “being paid too much”, colleagues who are more fragile due to health conditions or having young children, colleagues on 5 -year contracts, etc...

We would like to remind all colleagues that:

- if your work is affecting your health – trouble sleeping, headaches, exhaustion…- you should contact your general practitioner and OHS and consider taking sick leave; and

- if you feel that you are being targeted by your line management, you are not the only one and you should contact your staff representation as soon as possible.

Kind regards, Local Staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH)


Remember that life isn't about work. Some people work to live, but they should not mistake that for workplace as a home/family. If you cannot take the abuse anymore, consider leaking out evidence of the bullying, as some people did throughout the pandemic. Threatening tone from managers during a health crisis is worse than tasteless. It can kill.

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