The President of the EPO and Chairman of the Administrative Council (AC) have just published a joint statement following the recent AC meeting. Merpel is pleased to see that the AC is at last starting to address the crisis in staff relations that has developed in recent years and which has come to a head in recent months.
While nothing is promised other than a kick-off meeting, the intention would appear to be to formally recognise the staff union, SUEPO. It remains to be seen if such formal recognition will include the actions that the Hague Court of Appeal ordered the EPO to undertake, including unblocking SUEPO's emails to staff members, abolishing the President's power to dictate the terms of industrial action, and allowing for collective bargaining. We shall see what develops and as always expect that our readers will have strong views to express in the comments below (bearing in mind the rules at the bottom of this post).
Joint statement from the Chairman of the Administrative Council and the President of the Office
26 March 2015
Call for a social dialogueThe Administrative Council acknowledges the results achieved by the Office and its staff which represent the outcomes of the Efficiency and Quality strategy adopted in 2011.
The Administrative Council confirms its clear will to continue the policy of reforms to the benefit of users. It is determined to address with the highest priority the issue of the social tensions which have occurred in this process.
Therefore, the Chairman of the Administrative Council and the President of the Office will launch new initiatives to restore social peace.
To achieve this, they call for a renewed social dialogue.
They consider in particular that the formal recognition of the trade unions within the EPO's legal framework could create the conditions to re-launch the process and to overcome some longstanding issues.
The Chairman and representatives of the Administrative Council, and the President of the Office with representatives of the management invite the trade unions of the EPO to a dedicated kick off meeting on 22 April 2015.
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