Italy 'working to solve' lettori issue, Embassy says

Professor David Petrie, President of the Association of Foreign Lecturers in Italy, with Andrew Bridgen MP

 LONDON -- "Italy is committed to solving the problem and is working on it,"  Deputy Head of Mission in the Italian Embassy in London, Vincenzo Celeste,  said Wednesday at a meeting with ALLSI union leader David Petrie regarding the discrimination faced by non-Italian lecturers ('lettori') in Italian universites. The remarks were the first such public commitment by an Italian official in the long-running battle.

 Prof. Petrie met with Signor Celeste at the Italian Embassy as an Early Day Motion was presented in the British House of Commons expressing "ongoing concerns" urging the UK government to end the discrimination faced by British or foreign professors working, or trying to find work, in Italian universities.  After the meeting Prof. Petrie was holding talks at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

 Prof. Petrie, President of the Association of Foreign Lecturers in Italy, has persistently fought for the rights of British and foreign professors who have faced over 35 years of ‘injustice due to their nationality,’ battling with an often ‘nepotistic’ Italian university system.

 The motion states: “That this House notes the ongoing concerns about disparity in employment rights of UK citizens and other non-Italian nationals who work as lettori in Italian universities; recognises that six rulings in the Court of Justice of the European Union found Italy to be discriminating against non-Italian lecturers with regards to length of contracts, access to jobs and fair and equal treatment on salary increments, pension and social security rights; further notes that 29 January 2017 marks six years since Italy's Gelmini law came into force which closed down the right of non-Italian workers to have their claims for compensation assessed in a domestic court; notes that most lettori have been involved in litigation for over 20 years; and urges the Government, during ongoing Brexit negotiations, to ensure steps are taken to protect the rights and fair treatment of UK citizens working in Italy.”

 A link to the motion can be found here: