UK’s Minister for Europe to follow up on foreign lecturer discrimination case

Professor David Petrie and Deirdre Brock MP

ROME – The British government would be set to follow up on the issue of discrimination against foreign university lecturers in Italy, the British Minister for Europe, Leo Docherty said. 

 The EU Commission started infringement proceedings in September 2022 for Italy’s failure to pay arrears in wages to non-Italian university lecturers.

 Following a failure to comply with proceedings, the European Commission said in January 2023 that it would take Italy to the European Court of Justice if the Italian government fails to pay pensions and arrears in wages to foreign lecturers within two months. 

 Docherty shared his concerns on this matter on March 16 in response to a letter sent to the UK’s Foreign Secretary by MP Deidre Brock on behalf of her constituent, Professor David Petrie, the Chairman of the Association of Foreign Lecturers in Italy (ALLSI). 

 In his response Docherty touched on the “valuable contribution to educational exchange,” that the British lecturers have made between Italy and the UK as well as the "longstanding relationship" between the two countries. 

 The Minister for Europe ackowledged that the "British government have been following and engaging on the issue for some years," and are continuing to press Italian authorities for compensation. The issue was most recently raised at an official level during bilateral talks in January. 

 Following these talks, Docherty said that his “officials are following up with the Italian government for clarification of the measures Italy will take to comply.” 

 Docherty hopes to have an update for MP Deidre Brock and Professor David Petrie shortly.