Letters to the Editor

Lettori Win Again But Fear Houdini Tactics

The information necessary to disprove the claims in David Petrie’s
(Jan/Feb 2002) response to Domenico Pacitti’s “Lettori Win
Again But Fear Italian Houdini Tactics” (Nov/Dec 2001) is
all in the public domain.

First, according to Mr. Petrie, there is no evidence that the Irish government successfully lobbied the European Commission to open infringement proceedings. I would point out that prior to Ireland’s assumption of the Presidency of the European Union, the European Commission’s official and documented position on the lettori was that “direct implementation of Community law by national (i.e. Italian) courts should be more productive […] than legal action taken by the Commission.” The Commission opened proceedings during Ireland’s term as President, a period in which the Member State in tenure shapes and directs Union policy. Commission correspondence with parliamentarians I have personally lobbied clearly points to the conclusion that representations by the Irish Government explain the Commission’s sudden change of heart.

Secondly, Mr. Petrie sued the European Commission, not in the Court of Justice as he claims, but in the Court of First Instance (CFI), where he lost his case on Dec 11, 2001 and was ordered to pay the Commission’s legal costs.

Thirdly, as the Ombudsman’s report formed part of the depositions
in the same unsuccessful CFI case, one must conclude that the Court did not share Mr. Petrie’s reading of its findings.

Finally, Mr. Petrie unfairly implicates European Commissioner
Padraig Flynn in the fall of the disgraced Santer Commission.
But that Commission resigned on the principle of collegial
responsibility. Mr. Flynn does not figure among the Commissioners censured by the Committee of Independent Experts, whose first report provoked the Commission resignation. Nor does he figure in their second report despite the fact that Mr. Petrie submitted a complaint to the Committee Chairman against him.

 – Henry Rodgers, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

I wish to point out some technical errors in David Petrie’s
letter published in the Adjunct Advocate (Jan/Feb 2002). Intervention, which is governed by Art. 93 of the Rules Of Procedure of the Court of Justice, can occur only after the European Commission has moved from the investigative to the judicial phase of the proceedings against a Member State. Thus, that the United Kingdom intervened in the revised proceedings can in no way disprove that Ireland influenced the actual opening of the
proceedings.

Also, under Art. 93, lawyers for the UK were automatically given all the documentation relating to the infringement proceedings, including the documents for which Mr. Petrie unsuccessfully sued in the Court of First Instance.

To imply that foul play lay behind the revision in the proceedings,
is to imply that the UK was party to it, since as the Report for the Court hearing records, the UK totally supported the position of Commissioner Flynn. New case law of the Court (Case C-90/96), not corruption, best explains why the Commission will not take proceedings on the status of EU-member country lettori in Italy.

– Kurt Rollin, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

I just want to thank you for your support of the lettori in Italy. I don’t feel representative enough to thank you on behalf of everyone, but I’m sure all those who read the lettori-it listserv feel grateful. I’m coordinating the case that 27 of us are taking out against the University of Genoa. As a Russian colleague said, “We may be going to die, but at least let’s die with a bit of music.”

– Mia Clark, Universita di Genoa, Genoa, Italy

Adjuncts Must Be Represented By Adjuncts

A recent article appearing in the Adjunct Advocate (“Part-time
Faculty at Roosevelt University Ratify First Ever Contract,”
Nov/Dec 2001) provided a summary of a newly negotiated contract
between Roosevelt University and The Roosevelt Adjunct Faculty
Association. The agreement provides for salary and fringe
benefit enhancements in addition to some governance items…. It
is not clear that there exists any seniority protection or
any clear definition of adjunct jurisdiction. The Adjunct Faculty Association with Nassau Community College and Nassau
County provides both seniority protection and clear jurisdictional
definitions…. While the adjunct at Roosevelt University and other institutions fight the good fight…they are still working with the “leavings” in the academic vineyards….The message is clear: the only route for adjuncts to follow is one of independence…. When it comes to job security, equitable treatment and a voice in… institution wide policy development, adjuncts cannot be properly represented by anyone other than adjuncts…. The literature shows that adjuncts who are represented by full-time faculty unions are treated as an afterthought…. We must stand alone.

– Robert Gaudino, Vice President, Adjunct Faculty Association at Nassau Community College, Wantagh, New York

The Chronicle of Higher Education

I just want to thank you for the review of The Chronicle of
Higher Education (Jan/Feb 2002). I wholeheartedly agree that
the newspaper has beefed up its on-line offerings to draw
part-time faculty. I have never subscribed, but since I started
teaching part-time have had the opportunity to page through
copies left in the faculty lounge. I sincerely hope the editors
and writers expand coverage of adjunct faculty issues and adjunct faculty. Isn’t there one adjunct in America whose research would make compelling copy? Judging from what has been published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, it would appear that the answer to that question is no. That is why The Chronicle gets my passing interest and the Adjunct Advocate gets my money. Keep up the good work!

– Gregory W. Charles, UMass, Boston, Massachusetts

Campus Equity Week

I thought that you might be interested in this clipping from
The Campus Press, the student newspaper of Camden County College in Blackwood, New Jersey, concerning our Campus Equity Week rally.

– Dr. Donald F. Busky, Camden County College, Blackwood, New Jersey

Editor: Thank you very much for the clipping, and thanks very much to all of the readers who sent in clippings about Campus Equity Week rallies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.