11.29.20

One Year Ago: The Last EPO Demonstration Before COVID-19

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Demonstrations used to be possible

EPO demonstration

Summary: About a year ago staff of the EPO apparently had its last protest (in front of the Isar building) before staff got ‘herded’ into homes, where workers became more isolated and even illegally spied on

IT did not take long for the Benoît Battistelli era to resume under António Campinos. Within less than a year staff already wanted to go on strike and within less than 2 years at the Office Campinos had lower levels of confidence among staff than Battistelli had at a corresponding period (about 3 years in).

“Within less than a year staff already wanted to go on strike and within less than 2 years at the Office Campinos had lower levels of confidence among staff than Battistelli had at a corresponding period (about 3 years in).”What does that tell us?

First of all, recall the controversial last moves of Campinos at the EUIPO; he’s crushing staff to ‘save money’ (and compromise quality of service, also in violation of the law).

A demonstration or student protests in BerlinSo what do these autocrats even stand for? How do they expect to restore peace at the Office? Bribing and blackmailing publishers (to prevent negative media coverage)? Is that the plan? Censoring (preventing access to) sites like Techrights? What does that say about the nature of the Office?

Either way, for the record, this is the ‘leaflet’ circulated 13 months ago in preparation for what seems like the last demonstration:

Demonstration

Wednesday 23 October

at 12.30h in front of the Isar building

On 23 and 24 October the EPO Budget and Finance Committee will meet in Munich. On the agenda are CA/83/19 and CA/84/19.

Despite the excellent performance of staff during the last years, these documents foresee an unprecedented set of punitive measures, among which:

  • A further increase of productivity of 31% for formalities staff and 23% for examining staff, the latter on top of the + 36% already achieved,

  • A reduction of the salary progression and a further reduction of the career perspectives for all but the happy few, additionally

  • The introduction of a “solidarity tax” (solidarity with whom?) of up to 9% on salaries and pensions, and

  • An up to 25% reduction of the pension accrual despite an up to 10% increase in the pension contribution by staff,

  • With the further hundreds of millions in cash surpluses thus generated annually to be stashed away in an obscure “EPO Treasury Investment Fund” (EPOTIF).

Is this a just reward for staff’s performance?

Is this in the interest of the EPO and its stakeholders?

Please join us for a demonstration in front of the Isar building if you don’t think so !

SUEPO Munich

It’s kind of sad that a public health crisis became also a human rights crisis. Right now the EPO’s staff is incapable of legally assembling like that.

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