BREAKING NEWS: Sheffield university strike to hit lectures for up to four weeks

The University of Sheffield.
The University of Sheffield.

Staff at the University of Sheffield are staging a strike in a row over pensions that is set to affect lectures for up to a month.

The university is among 61 institutions across the country staging 14 days of walk outs spread across a four week period in February and March.

READ MORE: Sheffield lecturers to go on strike

Members of the University and College Union confirmed the wave of strikes today after talks between the organisation and the university's representative Universities UK broke down.

The union said the dispute centres on Universities UK’s proposal to end the defined benefit element of the Universities Superannuation Scheme pension scheme.

The UCU claimed this would leave a typical lecturer almost £10, 000 a year worse off in retirement than under the current set-up.

There are around 1, 300 UCU members at Sheffield made up of lecturers, researchers, student advisors, librarians and admissions staff. 89 per cent of the members who voted backed strike action on a turnout of 64 per cent.

Nationally, 88 per cent of members who voted backed strike action from a turnout of 58 per cent.

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.

"They feel let down by vice-chancellors who seem to care more about defending their own pay and perks than the rights of their staff.

"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."

UCU members will strike on February 22 and February 23 and for three days between February 26 and 28.

This will be followed by four days of action between March 5 and March 8, and a full week between March 12 and March 16.

We have contacted the University of Sheffield for comment and are awaiting a response.