News of the WeekMolecular Biology

EMBL Faces Huge Bill Following Adverse Pay Dispute Ruling

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Science  05 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5442, pp. 1058-1059
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5442.1058

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An adverse judgment in a salary dispute could wipe out as much as 25% of the core funding of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and threaten cancellation of its ambitious future plans. The bad news was delivered at a staff meeting last month by EMBL director-general Fotis Kafatos, who told researchers and other employees that a worst-case interpretation of the ruling could lead to the institution shutting down. Although Kafatos stressed that this possibility was remote, even under the most optimistic interpretation the complex judgment will cost the lab millions of dollars in back salary payments and possibly curtail important new research initiatives.