12.07.20

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The Non-dialogue: “Staff Representatives Were Intimidated, Persecuted, or Both.” How the EPO Under António Campinos Succumbed to Battistelli Monarchy, Leading to Unrest, Strikes

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Part 2 of 3 (see part 1)

The police squad

London protestsSummary: “The President [António Campinos] is the main interlocutor for social dialogue,” explained EPO staff representatives. “Having a first meeting only after 5 month from the start of the year, however, is not really fostering social dialogue.” They explained that EPO management resorted to aggression and force (at least verbal) within just months of the supposedly ‘nice’ new President taking Office.

THE STAFF of the EPO took only months to be convinced that another Benoît Battistelli had been put in charge of governing the institution. Here’s a letter sent to him after less than 11 months at the Office:

Reference: sc19075cl-0.3.1/1.3.1
Date: 29.05.2019

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081

OPEN LETTER

Agenda for our meeting on 03 June 2019

Dear Mr President,

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) thanks you for your invitation to meet on 3 June and for suggesting some points for the agenda.

The CSC is very concerned about the latest developments at the EPO, especially concerning the current level of unrest due to continuing anti-staff policies, as well as the lack of improvement in social dialogue. This is also reflected in the recent call for strike. Issues raised therein have been high on the agenda of the CSC for some time and therefore, we propose to first explore with you which actions we believe could either resolve some issues and/or at least reassure staff on your intentions.

In addition, we are extremely worried by an email we just received from a staff representative on which you were copied. We are recognising methods of an era we thought bygone, when staff representatives were intimidated, persecuted, or both. This is extremely disturbing.

If time still allows, we would of course also like to address the agenda points, as raised by you, i.e.:

- Follow up on the staff survey (including your letter dated 10.4.2019)
- Strategic Plan
- Status of the Working Groups (Resources & Communication, Adjustments to the Performance Management and Procedure for Incompetence)


On the staff survey, we look forward to seeing how we will be involved in the next steps, and to receiving the requested aggregated data.

On the strategic plan, we are convinced that it needs to reflect the staff survey results – and a focus on quality and on staff should be given through a review of some past reforms. We refer to our input and the need to present a timetable enabling to re-establish quickly staff confidence in management.

On the status of the two working groups, we look forward to seeing their mandates clarified (if needed) and some progress booked.

Yours sincerely,

Joachim Michels
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

The message to staff was similar to the open letter (slight variation and additions, especially the first paragraph, left out from the letter for diplomatic reasons):

President meets CSC on 3 June

Agenda items for discussion and worrying developments in treating staff representatives

Dear colleagues,

The CSC appreciates the invitation by the President to meet on 3 June. The President is the main interlocutor for social dialogue. Having a first meeting only after 5 month from the start of the year, however, is not really fostering social dialogue.

The CSC is very concerned about the latest developments at the EPO, especially concerning the current level of unrest due to continuing anti-staff policies, as well as the lack of improvement in social dialogue. This is also reflected in the recent call for strike. Issues raised therein have been high on the agenda of the CSC for some time and therefore, we propose to first explore with the President which actions we believe could either resolve some issues and/or at least reassure staff on his intentions.

In addition, we are extremely worried by an email we just received from a staff representative on which you were copied. We are recognising methods of an era we thought bygone, when staff representatives were intimidated, persecuted, or both.
Further agenda points amongst others will be:
• Follow up on the staff survey (including your letter dated 10.4.2019)
• Strategic Plan
• Status of the Working Groups (Resources & Communication, Adjustments to the Performance Management and Procedure for Incompetence)

Staff representatives of the EPO would later suggest going on strike, as we noted last year and again a few days ago.

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