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The EPO’s Local Staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH) is “Requesting Immediate Action”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 7d12153c747f7ab91b69c309bcc83489
EPO Staff Still Resents the EPO
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Despite relatively quiet weeks there is no calm at the EPO; the quality of patents continues to fall and staff isn’t being properly rewarded for the work

THE national delegates will discuss the EPO next month (warning: epo.org link) in a meeting that involves some new representatives (Bulgaria and the UK for instance). These are the people who enabled Benoît Battistelli‘s countless crimes and continue to support the same from António Campinos, in exchange for bribes of course!

The EPO has become so tragic on so many levels. As noted in the video above, it’s staining Germany’s reputation (warning: epo.org link) and lobbying a government that reciprocates kindly for corruption. It’s difficult not to feel cynical about the EPO emulating China as well (warning: epo.org link)… all this while pretending to be “green” and to value science (warning: epo.org link). The PR strategy is shallow and superficial, complete with “Hey Hi” (AI) hype instead of actual substance.

“The EPO has become so tragic on so many levels.”However, the video above focuses on the following new letter. The Local Staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH) further and more widely disseminated a message to staff earlier today, stating:

Education Allowance Portal: legal drawbacks – Letter to VP4 requesting immediate action

Please find in attachment an open letter to VP4 concerning severe deficiencies of the Education Allowance Portal. Please read the letter carefully as it contains important information regarding the Portal and the procedure to follow.

In the meantime to have legal certainty we would advise you to send to hrservices@epo.org the request for reimbursement of any educational costs forcedly deducted when requesting the advancement and/or the reimbursement. Please make sure to have your ticket open and a written trace of the HR reaction (e.g. rejection). Once your claim has been officially rejected, we would like to remind you of the possibility to launch a request for review within 3 months from the official rejection.

From now on until the problems with the Education Allowance Portal are solved, we advise you to send all the requests for full reimbursement to hrservices@epo.org, and to use the portal only in case you need an advancement urgently, mentioning a disclaimer in your request if needed. In our previous publication you find more details about the excluded education costs, guidance on how to have them reimbursed, and the disclaimer to be used to safeguard your rights.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.

With kind regards,

Your Local Staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH)

Shown above (in the video) but not discussed much is the corresponding open letter:

European Patent Office | Postbus 5818 | 2280 HV RIJSWIJK | NETHERLANDS

Ms. Nellie Simon
Vice-President Corporate Services, DG4
ISAR – Munich

Open Letter on issues with the Education Allowance Portal

Dear Ms. Simon, dear Nellie,

We are addressing you concerning an important IT issue regarding the Education Allowance Portal. When sending the request for reimbursement or advancement, it appears that the Education Allowance Portal does not provide any feedback, and only in the cases where there is a problem, it automatically sends an error message rejecting the claim with no indication of what the problem is.

It appears that the reason for these problems is that there is presently no possibility in the portal to have the request partially approved where the submitted costs are considered only to be partially reimbursable or advanceable. Therefore, colleagues are expected and asked verbally to modify their request and resubmit it in order to make their claims processed even if the amount applicable is contested by the requester.

We believe that the Education Allowance Portal by not providing a complete record of the facts and submissions is not fit for purpose. This and many other important features are still missing in the portal. This results in legal uncertainty for the users by depriving the colleagues to exercise their legal rights according to Article 107 ServRegs. and moreover, it goes against the provisions of Article 106 (2) ServRegs., by which “any decision adversely affecting a staff member shall state the grounds on which it is based”.

We therefore request that this issue be corrected as soon as possible. We expect that the Education Allowance Portal leaves a written permanent trace of any action, including request for correction handled by phone, to both parties. In the meantime we urge your services to provide alternative means to the colleagues affected in order for them to be able to request the reimbursement of the education expenses according to Article 71 ServRegs. without being deprived of their legal rights according to Articles 106 and 107 ServRegs.

We feel it is our duty as staff representatives to warn the colleagues about this fact and recommend them to send their requests via email to hrservices@epo.org until the problem is solved.

We thank you for your attention to this matter,

Jorge Raposo
On behalf of the Local Staff Committee The Hague

SUEPO The Hague Committee is also involved. “To address the plethora of different legal aspects related to the Education and Childcare Reform,” it recently said, “we have prepared a table collating the legal cases already initiated, their status and timeline.”

Action is underway, coordinated, to give staff what it is entitled to.

“The video does not say much about this topic as it concerns financial details and staff salaries.”It’s not just staff in The Netherlands by the way. Munich too is taking action. There is coordination across sites. “SUEPO Munich informs you that the Local Staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH) organises a hybrid information session on the topic of rewards / career advancement: promotions, steps, bonuses on Tuesday September 13th, at 11:30,” a recent announcement said. “Check which of the following dates is the earliest and note it down: 1) having been informed verbally by the line manager of not having received a reward; 2) reception of email with link to salary slip of July 2022…”

The video does not say much about this topic as it concerns financial details and staff salaries. Those aspects don’t relate to the topics we typically cover, including software patents. Expect our EPO coverage to carry on for years to come.

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