Staff at QUB and Ulster University have voted to support of future strikes over pay

They can strike again if they want

Staff at Queen's University, Ulster University and St. Mary's University College Belfast have all voted in support of further strike action as part of an ongoing pay dispute.

In a University College Union (UCU) ballot held earlier this month, the three Belfast universities were among only 10 of the 147 universities balloted who voted in favour of strike action. 70 per cent of staff voted in favour of allowing future strike action.

The dispute arose after the universities' representatives, the Universities and Colleges' Employers Association (UCEA), made a final offer of a 2 per cent pay rise at talks in May. However, UCU said the offer did nothing to address the falling value of higher education pay, which has declined in real terms by 21 per cent since 2009.

The union said members of both its further education and higher education committees would be meeting in the coming days to consider the results and next steps.