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Hundreds of university lecturers strike in pensions row

Photo: ITV Meridian

Hundreds of university lecturers have walked out on strike in a row about their pensions.

Demonstrations are taking place at campuses across the region, including in Southampton, Oxford, Reading, Sussex and Kent.

The industrial action by members of the University and College Union (UCU) say new pension proposals would leave them up to £10,000 a year worse off in their retirement.

Professor Catherine Pope, University of Southampton

Employers say the final salary pension scheme is too expensive and is facing a huge deficit.

It is part of a five day national walkout at 64 universities across the country.

Credit: ITV Meridian

A total of 14 days of strike action is planned:

  • 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)
Credit: ITV Meridian

Some students say they are furious with the universities as the action results in them losing hours of tuition they have already paid for.

Students at the University of Reading have started a petition asking to be reimbursed for lost teaching time during the national strike.

The petition claims each student will lose a total of £840 worth of teaching time across the 14 days of planned industrial action.

The UCU says the action will affect more than 1 million students and will see 575,000 teaching hours lost.

Christopher Snowden, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton