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Italian Diary

The Labor Scandal at Bologna’s Film Library

by ALESSANDRA V. MASSAGRANDE

Bologna, Italy.

Some of the biggest contradictions of Italy are the lack of transparency in the labor market and particularly in hiring in public sector or with public participation where the idea of transparency should be a priority.

An example of this (one of the many) is an event that occurred in February, here, in Bologna.

On the 6th December  2011, the film library of Bologna, one of the most important in Italy, became a Foundation  but because of the structure of the company the term employees chose to leave and were all transferred to publics offices in the municipality. Now the Municipality finances  the Foundation with 1 million and 550 thousand euro sof public money and the Foundation becomes a private branch office of a public body. The film library quickly  announced a competition for 27 positions to replace the former employees. Many of these job announcements are for positions as archivists and librarians. This all seemed within the rules, but after an closer look it is discovered that 16 th February was the last date to send applications and  only a high school degree is required. Many who were eligible under the law on the protection of cultural heritage and had vast professional experience and advanced degrees in Archivistica or Diploma di Archivistica, Paleografia e Diplomatica in State Archives) These highly qualified candidates were not called for a job interview.

By comparing the list of temporary workers to those hired you can see that of the 21 recruited, 20 were on that list. Why didn’t the Municipality simply recruit its temporary employees instead of inventing an announcement of competition to delude 1500 people who had applied for the jobs.

Some newspapers and blogs have talked about this but nothing has changed. The Director of the film library sidestepped these questions and has justified his choices. The ANAI (National Association of Italian Archivists) and the Archival Superintendency of Emilia Romagna have turned a blind eye to the problem. This does not happen in the rest of civil Europe. The joke is clear but people here are not angry or outraged, so nothing changes.

Alessandra V. Massagrande is a historian living in Bologna.