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North East University staff go on strike

newcastle university

7:10am 22nd February 2018
(Updated 7:25am 22nd February 2018)

Up to a million students across the country won't have any lectures today as University staff go on strike.

Lecturers and professors at 64 universities, including Newcastle and Durham, are walking out for two weeks over proposed changes to their pensions.

Employers argue their pension scheme is billions of pounds in the red.

But the University and Colleges Union says proposed changes would leave a typical lecturer far worse off in retirement.

It could see some lose as much as 10-thousand pounds a year.

Classes will be disrupted as part of a series of industrial action.

The union says the action will see 575,000 teaching hours lost.

The strike days are:

Week one - Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February (two days)

Week two - Monday 26, Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 February (three days)

Week three - Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March (four days)

Week four - Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 March (five days)

Sunderland and Northumbria Universities are both unaffected.

The union will meet on Friday next week (2nd March) to consider universities' response to the first wave of strikes and what further action might be necessary.

UCU said it hoped no universities would want a prolonged dispute that drags out towards exam season, but that members were determined to fight for fair pensions.

As well as picket lines outside entrances to universities affected by the action from 8am this morning, there will be a series of events over the next four weeks including rallies in Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Manchester, Oxford and Newcastle.

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