Bonum Certa Men Certa

EPO “Technical” Meetings Are Not Technical Anymore, It's Just Corrupt Officials Destroying the Patent Office, Piecewise (While Breaking the Law to Increase Profits)

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Apr 19, 2024,
updated Apr 19, 2024

Abolition of conditions of employment of interpreters

Another pillar of the EPO is being knocked down

The Central Staff Committee of the EPO has contacted António Campinos and his German enabler (who had previously enabled Benoît Battistelli as well).

In a message to colleagues it says to staff:

Dear Colleagues,

On Monday 15 April 2024, the administration has tabled in the General Consultative Committee (GCC), the document GCC/DOC 2/2024 (see Annexes to the letter) abolishing the whole section of the Codex related to the conditions of employment of interpreters.

Regulations are removed from the Codex including: the statutory daily remuneration rates, working hours, the payment of overtime, the adjustment of the remuneration, protection in case of cancellations, reimbursement of travel costs and the entitlement to the daily substance allowance.

The Office intends to shift to a new system consisting of “framework contracts concluded with individual interpreters” which are not made available. There is no guarantee that each interpreter will remain subject to the same conditions.

The Office did not even consult any of its 160 “highly qualified” interpreters who are shocked that such proposals shall be discussed internally without any attempt to inform or consult them. The lack of consultation of those providing the service is difficult to reconcile with the announced aim to ensure business continuity and poses a risk as to the quality of service provided by the EPO to the users of the patent system.

In this open letter, we urgently request that more time is allowed and that proper consultation is ensured.

Sincerely yours,

The Central Staff Committee - CSC

The full publication contains annexes and the key parts are reproduced below as plain text (bulletins), HTML, and GemText:

European Patent Office
80298 Munich
Germany

Central Staff Committee
Comité central du personnel
Zentraler Personalausschuss

centralSTCOM@epo.org

Reference: sc24022cl

Date: 18/04/2024

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

Mr Christophe Ernst
Vice-President DG5

By email:
president@epo.org
vp5@epo.org

OPEN LETTER

Abolition of the conditions of employment of interpreters

Dear Mr President
Dear Mr Vice-President,

On Monday 15 April 2024, the administration has tabled in the General Consultative Committee (GCC), the document GCC/DOC 2/20242 abolishing the whole section of the Codex related to the conditions of employment of interpreters2. The administration did so after proposing a single “Technical” Meeting on Thursday 11 April 2024 with a planned PowerPoint presentation containing limited content and nothing about the technicalities3.

As we already expressed by email4, the timeline of the consultation is tight and requires legal and fiscal analysis, and also input from those affected by the abolition, namely the interpreters themselves. The document presents as a starting point the question of the interpreters’ affiliation to national social security schemes raised in a contracting state. However, the document does not mention which contracting state is referred to, what was the question raised nor whether the state is a relevant country of employment of interpreters.

______

1 GCC/DOC 2/2024 (CA/35/24) [Annex 1]

2 Conditions of Employment of Interpreters (January 2024) [Annex 2]

3 “New model for securing interpreting service”, 09-04-2024 [Annex 3]

4 CSC email to Social Dialogue, 11-04-2024 [Annex 4]


Legal and fiscal risks of the current system are presented as a justification for the change. However, no legal assessment and no fiscal assessment are provided. Section VIII mentions as legal basis the “Conditions of Employment for Interpreters”. This cannot be correct as the latter contain no provision for repealing themselves.

The announced aim to ensure the Office’s competitiveness with respect to comparable international organisations is not substantiated by any benchmark presenting the organisations taken into account nor the conditions they offer. As a matter of fact, it appears that the administration has not made any market analysis or survey among the pool of interpreters working for International Organisations. The Office did not even consult any of its 160 “highly qualified” interpreters who are shocked that such proposals shall be discussed internally without any attempt to inform or consult them5. The lack of consultation of those providing the service is difficult to reconcile with the announced aim to ensure business continuity and poses a risk as to the quality of service provided by the EPO to the users of the patent system.

The abolition of the conditions of employment of interpreters has far- reaching consequences which cannot be justified by an issue of affiliation to national social security scheme. For instance, regulations are removed from the Codex including; the statutory daily remuneration rates, working hours, the payment of overtime, the adjustment of the remuneration, protection in case of cancellations, reimbursement of travel costs and the entitlement to the daily substance allowance.

The Office intends to shift to a new system consisting of “framework contracts concluded with individual interpreters”. The content of these “framework contracts” is not annexed to the GCC document. There is hence no information as to which parts of the abolished statute will remain in these framework contracts and no guarantee each interpreter will remain subject to the same conditions.

The foreseen timeline of the reform is much too tight and does not allow anywhere near sufficient time for in-depth discussions and explanations. We repeat our request that the document is tabled in the GCC “for information” in order to ensure proper consultation. In addition, we request that the GCC is provided with:

− the legal and fiscal assessments,

− the information concerning the issues of the interpreters’ affiliation to national social security scheme in a contracting state,

− the foreseen specimen “framework contract”,

and that

− the Office urgently consults its “highly qualified” 160 interpreters directly affected by the change.

______

5 “Communication from EPO-accredited interpreters to Staff Representation”, 14-04-2024 [Annex 5]


We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely yours

Derek Kelly
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

Annex 1: GCC/DOC 2/2024 (CA/35/24)

Annex 2: Conditions of Employment of Interpreters (January 2024)

Annex 3: Email from EPO Interpreters sent on 15-04-2024

Annex 4: CSC email to Social Dialogue, 11-04-2024

Annex 5: “Communication from EPO-accredited interpreters to Staff Representation”, 14-04-2024

Little by little, a la "boiling frog", they ensure there's no EPO left, only a cash register and collection point (digital) by which to receive requests for monopolies from international corporations, charging fees to give them monopolies over Europe (even when such requests are invalid, unlawful, and come from corporations outside of Europe about two-thirds of the time). This is corruption miles worse than ISDS and they have rendered fake, illegal kangaroo courts to bypass constitutions. Where's the outrage?

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