Bonum Certa Men Certa

EPO Staff Union (SUEPO): “We Are Back to Battistelli's Times”

Flash News: Salary Erosion Procedure - Plundering your own staff during a pandemic

Breaking: SUEPO

Summary: The EPO's management continues its reckless and shameless attack on staff, based on complete lies and fabrications, even at times of uncertainty and stress

THE average innocent observer might think or be led to believe that an institution called "European Patent Office" -- a de facto monopoly in Europe (granting authority isn't up for grabs or tendering) -- would treat its staff with respect and utmost dignity, especially at times of unprecedented crisis. The "nice" and "polite" António Campinos would surely not become anything like this guy, right?



Wrong!

"The average innocent observer might think or be led to believe that an institution called "European Patent Office" -- a de facto monopoly in Europe (granting authority isn't up for grabs or tendering) -- would treat its staff with respect and utmost dignity, especially at times of unprecedented crisis."A reader sent us 3 PDFs of recent SUEPO publications that we hadn't seen before. Just to be very clear, we were never in direct contact with SUEPO; some SUEPO members, however, occasionally reach out to us.

"Business As Usual Despite Corona Pandemic Crisis," one of them said/quoted, obviously upset at the attacks on staff which happen while the press isn't paying attention (some journalists, by their own explicit admission, won't cover EPO scandals because of "corona").

As our reader put it: "Does the office, President Campinos, use the Corona crisis to push through his questionable reform plans at the next Administrative Council meeting? Is Campinos abusing his own staff in times of Corona crisis?"

"It's a good time to attack staff, which is unable to gather (it might be illegal, not only as per Office rules)."Of course. It's a good time to attack staff, which is unable to gather (it might be illegal, not only as per Office rules).

Our reader continued: "It looks as if the social dialogue has been completely removed from its agenda by the EPO administration. The question is: How will the Administrative Council react in its next meeting to those allegations and will they accept the morbid reform plans proposed by the President?"

Here's the first publication of the bunch, dated 11 days ago:



30 March 2020



SALARY EROSION PROCEDURE
PLUNDERING YOUR OWN STAFF DURING A PANDEMIC
Flash news


We used to have, as all other international organisations, a salary adjustment procedure. The President is taking advantage of the Coronavirus crisis for rushing through an ill-conceived and detrimental salary adjustment procedure.

The proposed procedure does not deserve the name of a salary adjustment procedure but rather a salary erosion procedure.

We are not surprised that the President is advised to proceed in this way. He is still advised by the same persons who have destroyed the career of many, who have introduced the contracts for new staff, who have suppressed the invalidity insurance and who have weakened the healthcare insurance system to the extent that incapacitated colleagues are now hostages in their host country, including in a time of a pandemic.

We are shocked that the president keeps such advisors.

The current target is the salary adjustment procedure. And he wants to rush it. No matter.

The next ones will be the education allowance and the pension system.

At the same time the President expects you to work either by coming to the Office under unsafe conditions or to work from home under non ideal conditions. He expects you to take care of your small kids while producing the same. He will not give any time relief for that, but rather put pressure through his middle managers so that you use your own leave. He also generously offers to you to put your kids to bed and to start working again until midnight. He will seemingly only report cases of coronavirus after they have been in quarantine for 2 weeks. He will keep your staff representatives in the dark even when it concerns your health and your life during the pandemic. He expects you to produce as if it was business as usual. And he will take advantage of the fact that you cannot defend and organise yourselves to further destroy your working conditions, rushing it through with an impossible time framework.

What sort of management is this? What sort of President is this?

Your staff representatives have made a lot of efforts and have proposed compromise solutions (3 drafts already before this last report). All to no avail. All have been disregarded and discredited. Management is only pursuing a brutal solution with the help of costly consultants who have no clue about the salary environment in International Organisations. It is telling to see that the specialists within the administration, the people that actually know what a salary method of an International Organisation should look like – and why – have been kept entirely out of the loop during all these discussions. They were invited to sit in the different meetings, but were stifled to speak.

We are still open to discuss a reasonable compromise. But we refuse to be used as fig leaves if the President wants a to introduce a salary erosion procedure which is there only to cut your purchasing power as a result of a social monologue.

Yet another useless Video-Conference took place on Wednesday 25. Your representatives (appointees of the CSC in the Working Group) made yet another reasonable proposal to management and promised to send it shortly after the VICO which was done on Friday 27th. Despite knowing this was coming, the President released on Thursday some pathetic videos made with the consultant putting a bad light on your staff representatives and simply lying as to the effect of their proposals. This is a disgrace. Interestingly the date of recording of all videos is March 20th, i.e. it was clear to the President already since this date that all efforts by the staff representatives would not be taken into account after that date.

It is questionable why further meetings took place and are still are foreseen. Does the President really believe that he can fool the highly skilled staff of the EPO with this blunt mock consultation?

Are we back to the Battistelli era? Or did we ever leave it?

This is sickening.

Your SUEPO Central committee


This is all very much as expected. "I am only surprised to see a kind of tone that implies surprise," I told a reader. "SUEPO was trying to play along with the Campinos "charm show" for a while, even when the facts suggested it was merely a show."

"We don't have direct access to the EPO or to SUEPO, but some people who have limited/selective access are kind and courageous enough to take the risk, rendering themselves 'middle(wo)men' for the sake of public awareness."I want to remind my longtime readers here (the EPO series in particular) that journalists whom I attempted to contact in order for them to shed light on the scandals now use "corona" as an excuse to look the other way. They always have excuses. Seemingly endless excuses; it's often the publisher (rich people at the top) who obstruct the journalism and EPO bribes for publishers certainly play a role. It's not as profitable scrutinising EPO actions as it is sucking up to EPO management and composing puff pieces for these people. One publication that used to listen to staff representatives (Barney Dixon in particular) is still defunct. What a shame.

In these difficult times we'll do our best to impose transparency on EPO actions and we invite readers to send us input and material of relevance. We don't have direct access to the EPO or to SUEPO, but some people who have limited/selective access are kind and courageous enough to take the risk, rendering themselves 'middle(wo)men' for the sake of public awareness. The European public deserves and needs to know what goes on inside EPOnia.

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