Catania Today, reports (http://tinyurl.com/ctd8vdl – legge discriminatoria e anticostituzionale ) that the recently elected Magnificent Rector of the University of Catania, Giacomo Pignataro, an economist, who holds a PhD from the University of York has written to the Minister an for Higher Education – Maria Chiara Carrozza – an industrial engineer, for her opinion on the cutting by 40% of the wages of its foreign teachers.
The Rector says he intends to offer the foreign lecturers at Catania a “coherent reply in conformity with the law”.
Decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) are binding on all public authorities (including universities and governments) inside the European Union. The reason it is binding is because it emanates from a Treaty.
The ECJ ruled that the foreign lecturers, “lettori, are entitled to the minimum salary and pensions of researchers. The University of Catania, until recently, adhered to this principle.
The problem which Minister Carrozza will have to grapple with is:
Is the recent decision of the University of Catania to cut the salaries of its foreign teachers by 40% – thereby reversing binding judgments of the ECJ – legitimate?
Could a law, passed during Mr Berlusconi’s tenure, the so-called “Gelmini” law – which “extinguishes” the rights of these foreign workers to a final judicial decision – be discriminatory and anti-constitutional?
The Gelmini law, Article 26, applies to foreign lecturers – and only to them – and is therefore a “race law” both in intention and practice*.
Italy was first found to be discriminating against its foreign lecturers in the European Court of Justice on 30 May 1989 – since then there have been a further 5 judgments in the ECJ – all of which found Italy to be in breach of the Treaty it first signed up to in Rome in 1957.
* See also, “race law” – Times Higher Education: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/lettori-suffer-50-paycut/2003066.article