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UCU announces 14 strike dates at 61 universities

Staff at UU are among those preparing to strike. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

UNIVERSITY staff are to take up to two weeks of strike action in a row over pensions.

Overall, 61 institutions could be affected after members of the University and College Union (UCU) voted in favour of industrial action.

Staff fear pension changes could cost an average lecturer £200,000 over the course of their retirement.

UCU members at Ulster University (UU) received an email telling them action would take place on February 22 and 23. Further action is due from February 26-28 with more dates to follow in March.

"This is a very serious situation which will affect all of us now working in the university," the email said.

"No-one wants to strike and no-one wants to lose money and there will be a hardship fund available which we encourage you to avail of. However, it is clear that only direct action will affect our employers."

It is understood that UCU members at Queen's University Belfast will confirm today whether to walk out.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said staff "who have delivered the international excellence universities boast of are understandably angry at efforts to slash their pensions".

"Strike action on this scale has not been seen before on UK campuses, but universities need to know the full scale of the disruption they will be hit with if they refuse to sort this mess out," she said.

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