03.15.16

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Battistelli Unsurprisingly Rejects Opportunity to Salvage His Status, EPO Strike Likely to Proceed Soon

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Train strike

Summary: The outcome of today’s meeting with Benoît Battistelli results in the imminent initiation of a strike action, which Battistelli keeps trying to delay/block

The EPO’s Central Staff Committee extended an olive branch to Benoît Battistelli, but he has clinched onto none of it. He’s too stubborn and proud of himself, even when he takes law into his own hands (from the hands of those qualified to do so).

The report on today’s meeting is already available and here it is as HTML:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité central du Personnel

15.03.2016
sc16045cp – 0.2.1/0.3.2

Dear colleagues,

The meeting between the Central Staff Committee and the President has just finished. It lasted for just over two hours. The President was accompanied by VP 1, VP 2, VP 4, PD 4.3 and further advisors. Some Local Staff Committee members were present, but – as they declared with any intervention – only in an observer role. Although all agenda items were addressed and CSC made constructive proposals, the President was unwilling to concede in any way to any of the petitioners’ requests.

As your interlocutor in the recent call for strike (91% of staff voted in favour), we asked the President to take a position on the following questions. His responses are summarised below:

● Will you lift the disciplinary punishments against Elizabeth Hardon, Ion Brumme and Malika
Weaver?

The President stated he was strictly bound by the rules: for the disciplinary punishments, firstly a management review must be filed, and due procedure (ultimate review by ILO-AT) will follow. The President did not accept the CSC’s proposal compatible with the existing rules to receive legal advice and reconsider his decisions straightaway. Neither, despite long pendency times for a procedure before ILO-AT, the President did not accept our proposal to subject the decisions to external, independent review by involving renowned legal experts. The President was not aware that one management review request had already been filed; however, PD 4.3 confirmed that this was the case.

● Will you lift the disciplinary sanctions against the former members of the Internal Appeals Committee?

Again, the President declared he was bound by the rules. In this case, the time for management review had expired and he did not intend to revise the respective decisions.

● Will you stop the disciplinary threats, investigations and retaliations against further Staff Representatives?

The President did not comment on this question.

● Will you be ready to revise the Investigation Guidelines together with the Staff Representation based on a mandate that is agreed by both parties?

The President declared he would consider a future review. However, he regarded any kind of revocation as legally and politically impossible and rejected making such a proposal to the Council. Furthermore, any amendments resulting from a future review could not be applied retroactively. The CSC stressed that favourable decisions could have a retroactive effect. The President did not accept working together with the Staff Representation under an agreed mandate, since such an agreed mandate would simply be used as a veto right in the President’s opinion.

● Will you be ready to adapt the strike regulations according to the judgment of the Dutch Court?

The President stated that there were many contrary decisions delivered by national courts that raised the issue of immunity. The President set forth that the judgment in question had been already referred to the Supreme Court with the support of the Dutch government.

● Will you be ready to revise the health, sick-leave and invalidity regulations together with the Staff Representation based on a mandate that is agreed by both parties?

The President acknowledged reviews were necessary and in progress. Referring to the upcoming social study, the President declared this would be a useful indicator of necessary change. Therefore, he could not contemplate a major review before autumn.

● Which further concessions are you willing to make?

No further proposals were made.

The President did not agree that the Office is in crisis. He was of the opinion that he had the full support of the Council with this view. Therefore, the CSC cannot see any reason yet to postpone the strike. Nevertheless, our final decision in this regard will only be taken following the outcome of the meeting of the Administrative Council.

Your Central Staff Committee

If Battistelli “did not agree that the Office is in crisis,” then he is clearly delusional, probably as self-deluding as the people who published this nonsense today in Munich. One person online called it “DEPRESSING & DISGUSTING!!! Nothing but LIES!”

If someone can send us a translation, we can prepare a rebuttal. There is a big PR campaign going on and if left unchallenged it can fool a lot of people in Munich and beyond.

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