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Italy: lettori receive landmark compensation

Foreign lecturers (lettori) at the State University of Milan have signed for compensation in a first-of-its-kind deal.

Last week, 11 lettori from Milan Università Statale, with the help of officials at the ALLSI trade union, agreed to a deal of €5.4 million in order to close the ongoing dispute. This number includes arrears for those who have already retired, with a total of 33 lettori involved in the agreement with the university.

Lettori have been fighting for over 30 years to receive reparations for discrimination. The case has been taken to the Court of Justice of the European Union on multiple occasions. Funding was made available by the Ministry of Universities and Research to pay foreign lecturers, with Milan being the first to make use of the money.

This major step has raised hopes that similar deals may be made at other universities. Currently, talks are ongoing at Siena University as six lettori prepared to take the matter to court.

ALLSI president, Professor David Petrie has expressed his gratitude to the University of Milan, but still sees a long road ahead:

‘Most universities have not availed themselves of the government funds leaving dozens more of my colleagues tied up in wasteful ongoing court cases.

‘Even this week six of my colleagues in the University of Siena are appearing in the Court of Florence after 12 years of judicial jostling and four stages of different rulings from judges encompassing the Court of Cassation, all because Siena University refuses to recognise the salary as established by the European Court of Justice and to ask the Ministry for the funds available to pay them and close the court case.’

Image courtesy of Library
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