EPO Union Presses Management To Reverse President’s Disciplinary Actions14/03/2016 by Dugie Standeford for Intellectual Property Watch 4 CommentsShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.The stand-off between European Patent Office President Benoît Battistelli and the Office’s largest staff union continues this week with a 16 March SUEPO demonstration planned during a meeting of the Office’s Administrative Council (AC), which supervises the EPO’s activities. The EPO buildings, MunichThere have been previous strikes and demonstrations but there may now be changes in the wind in the AC, a source close to the situation told Intellectual Property Watch. Over several years, Battistelli has angered SUEPO members by making changes to, among other things, employee strike, health and sick leave rules, internal appeals and investigation guidelines, and by firing three of the union’s representatives, SUEPO said in a 9 March statement.The last demonstration took place on 17 February, the same day as a meeting of the AC Board, a sub-group of the full panel. The board gave Battistelli a document seen by IP Watch setting out its “very precise expectations from the Office management” on social and disciplinary issues, according to a 17 February summary of conclusions.The document was necessary “as it appears that there are no other means of conveying the Council’s recurring concerns expressed over the past months,” it said. The board “has to deplore an obvious lack of willingness from the part of the President to embark on an overdue open discussion with the Council on contentious issues – foremost the social dialogue.”Battistelli “disagreed” and reminded the board of his 15 February letter to AC delegations “explaining the possible ways forward but has to [sic] maintain his position for legal reasons concerning the instructions related to the disciplinary cases,” the board conclusions said. The president allegedly walked out of the meeting, said The IPKat blog, which reported on this and other developments on 23 February.On 8 March, SUEPO members voted 91% in favour of a strike, with 60% of membership participating, the union statement said.First, however, it called a 16 March demonstration in Munich to “appeal to the delegates of the Administrative Council to take their responsibility and to put an end to the war that Mr Battistelli is waging against EPO staff and their representatives.”SUEPO demands include the “immediate suspension” of disciplinary measures against its three staff union representatives and a “truly independent review” of the cases against those representatives by a “body that enjoys the full trust of both the management and the staff of the EPO,” the statement said.Staff representatives are “all just waiting” to see what happens this week, said the knowledgeable source. Something is moving in the AC but what and why is unclear, the source said. In any case, the union will not strike without trying again to find a solution, the source added. Image Credits: EPOShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedDugie Standeford may be reached at email@example.com."EPO Union Presses Management To Reverse President’s Disciplinary Actions" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.