05.18.16

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Another Almost Empty EPO Presentation at The Hague

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Staff has defected and is still loyal to fellow staff, not the management

SUEPO support

Summary: The propagandistic “social study” of Battistelli (basically a lot of misleading claims disguised as ‘research’) helps demonstrate that EPO staff has absolutely no faith in the management

EARLIER this year people joked about the "Meet the President" (Battistelli) event in Rijswijk. It was a total embarrassment. A couple of months ago we reported well less than a dozen people in the FFPE-EPO meeting. It seems like the zero popularity of Battistelli becomes apparent over time. His yellow union too is exceptionally unpopular.

Internal information on the EPO “social study” was sent to us not too long ago. “I assume that you have already received information about this subject,” our source told us, “however I let you know just in case you haven’t.”

We mentioned the “social study” many times before, including in the following articles:

“According to information received,” our source told us, “yesterday in The Hague only ca. 85 colleagues attended the presentation about the coming EPO social study.”

85 may sounds like a decent number, but remember how many people work at the EPO. 85 is just over 1% of the staff, which is somehow symbolic. One can say that only “the 1%” supports Battistelli and his agenda.

This very low figure included managers, OHS and consultants, DG4 staff etc., according to our source. “In Munich too,” our source told us, “the participation was very low and a fair share of “EPO officials” were present to fill the otherwise empty room. Out of 2800 staff in The Hague this is not much to say the least.

“PWC consultants from Italy and Cyprus were picked by the EPO to perform this study to which once more, staff representatives were only marginally associated.”

Speaking of staff representatives (what’s left of them, not the yellow union), there is total lack of progress from Battistelli, who is about to make things even worse. The Administrative Council’s meeting is less than a month away and as one new comment put it:

….the staff regulations we have at the moment, including the investigation guidelines, have been accepted and tolerated by the AC. But NOW there is a clear request of the AC to change the staff regulations ¨to ensure that disciplinary sanctions and proceedings are not only fair but also seen to be so, and to consider the possibility of involvement of an external reviewer or of arbitration or mediation¨. The AC requests also: ¨pending the outcome of this process and before further decisions in disciplinary cases are taken, to inform the AC in appropriate detail and make proposals that enhance confidence in fair and reasonable proceedings and sanctions¨. The AC requests further ¨to submit to the AC a draft revision of the Staff Regulations which incorporates investigation guidelines (including the investigation unit) and disciplinary procedures which have been reviewed and amended¨. It seems to me, but a may be wrong, that the AC wants to see clear defined actions, not just a soufflé full of hot air that collapses as soon as you touch it. The AC realises also that these disciplinary sanctions and proceedings are widely and intensively being questioned in the public opinion.

The EPO is still in a truly chaotic state. We can’t help wondering how many people stay there and work there just because of the unjust sanctions induced after employment at the EPO (this can mean several years of imposed unemployment). The Administrative Council would be wise to let heads roll next month; it’s the only way to undo the crisis. Time in its own right does not heal anything.

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