“SUEPO stands for Staff Union of the European Patent Office (EPO). The EPO has sites in Berlin, Munich, The Hague and Vienna. Likewise SUEPO is made up of four local sections at the four sites. Approximately 50% of the staff of the respective sites are members. Just as the EPO evolved from the “Institut international des brevets” (IIB), SUEPO was born in 1979 out of the “Syndicat du Personnel de l’Institut international des brevets” (SP-IIB) which was founded in 1969.
SUEPO takes particular care to maintain acceptable working conditions for the Staff of the European Patent Office. This concerns not only remuneration and pensions, but also fundamental rights and a wide range of everyday aspects of working conditions at the EPO, such as working time, working pressure and ergonomics.
Unlike Labour Law in national civil services, the rules dictating employment conditions and rights at the EPO are determined by the Office’s Administrative Council, a group of national representatives who oversee the running of the Office. These rules and rights in turn are set down in an internal EPO “Codex”. The result is that this wide range of aspects of labour law and fundamental rights normally regulated by national parliaments or European Institutions is determined by an organ with only limited accountability, be it only because of the fact that the supervision of the functioning of the Administrative Council is the responsibility of the parliaments of the 38 Contracting States.
Public interest is our interest. The keyword is innovation and a high quality protection through the EPO staff’s work. Innovation is the driving force behind the European economy and provides employment for our members.”
Office européen des Brevets / European Patent Office
NL – 2280 HV Rijswijk
Tel : +31.70.340.3605 – Fax : +31.70.340.3707
President : Dirk DOBBELAERE
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
In recent years, social dialogue at the European Patent Office has been badly damaged. Since 2014, the EPO has been strongly criticised for its directives which go against the rights and interests of employees. Legal actions have multiplied as the suffering of staff members has increased. Today, a settlement agreement has been reached at the EPO concerning Laurent Prunier . Excessive production pressure, a climate of fear, intimidation, harassment, abusive disciplinary procedures against staff and trade union representatives, censorship and non-respect of the right to strike shook the institution in particular during the mandates of Benoit Battistelli. USOEB-SUEPO*, the trade [...]
An avalanche of victories for Union Syndicale and its representatives! The current period is full of equations with many unknowns, but one thing is certain: solidarity is still not an obsolete concept in the European institutions. Our colleagues at SUEPO The Hague and in Berlin won a great victory in the Staff Committee elections: all the seats (17 !) went to our Union Syndicale representatives! Never two without three, a resounding victory for Union Syndicale at Cedefop (3 seats out of 3 in the Staff Committee elections !), which, we remind you, did not actually recognise the unions as social [...]
The Member Organisations of Union Syndicale Fédérale, gathered in Congress in Bratislava, adopted on 2 June 2019 an emergency resolution on the situation of EPO staff and the unfair treatment of SUEPO trade unionists. Adopted unanimously, this emergency resolution was forwarded to the Director and the Governing Board of the EPO as soon as the Congress closed. Emergency resolution (EN)
With a letter dated 29th January 2019, USF drew Mr Campinos' attention to the negative perception of the abusive - and for several of them still unresolved - disciplinary cases against staff or union representatives at the EPO and the personal suffering the situation still entails. In the meantime, a survey has been run at the EPO which seems to reveal/shows very worrying results calling for an analysis to be run jointly by the EPO President and the EPO staff representation / SUEPO. Download here the Letter from USF Pres. to Mr Campinos Dir. of EOB 29 APRIL 2019 Related documents: [...]