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The Expat Who Took On Italy: Lecturer David Petrie Is Still Fighting

Editor: In 2002, AdjunctNation writer Michael Gerace caught up with David Petrie and interviewed him. You can read that interview here. Petrie is still fighting for equal pay and equal treatment for hundreds of non-Italians who teach foreign languages at Italian universities throughout the country. You can read complete coverage of the legal battle between Petrie, his colleagues, and the Italian government here.

by Leah Hyslop

It is difficult to imagine the kind of reception that David Petrie gets from his Italian colleagues when he goes to work in the morning. One suspects it isn’t too friendly. The Scottish-born expat has worked for the University of Verona for nearly thirty years, where he lectures in English language. But for almost as long he has been teaching, Petrie has also been caught up in a bitter war with the Italian university system, fighting against the discrimination that he claims he and his fellow foreign lecturers suffer every single day.

photo“Foreign lecturers get a very raw deal,” says Petrie (left), who founded ALLSI, the Association of Foreign Lecturers in Italy, in 1997. “Know as lettori, we are given extremely low salaries, denied the right to be considered for promotions,

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