Exact plans for 14 days of lecturer strikes at Durham have been released

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Lecturers at Durham University will strike for fourteen days over a four-week period, after an agreement could not be reached with employers’ representative Universities UK over changes to lecturers' pension schemes.

The University and College Union (UCU) claims this would leave a typical lecturer almost £10,000 a year worse off in retirement than under the current set-up.

The exact planned strike dates at Durham are:

Week 1: Thursday 22, Friday 23 February

Week 2: Monday 26, Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28 February

Week 3: Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7, Thursday 8 March

Week 4: Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15, Friday 16 March

According to the union's general secretary, Sally Hunt: "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".

In an email to staff, Durham Vice-Chancellor, Stuart Corbridge, said: "The University does not accept partial performance of duties by any member of staff.

"This means that if you take part in strike action, or refuse to carry out any part of your normal contractual duties, you will be in breach of your contract of employment, and the University is entitled as a consequence to make a deduction to contractual pay of up to 100%.

"I am aware that the decision to vote in favour of industrial action will not have been taken lightly by many of our staff. Durham University respects the right of staff to take part in industrial action and we understand the strength of feeling in relation to the proposed changes to USS."

DSU President, Megan Croll, said: "I could not support strike action where the goals were to cause as much disruption as possible to students, thus using student outrage and frustration as an amplifier to give weight to academics’ case to the University.

"While I understand the appeal of this tactic, it hurts students, who are not a party in this dispute. I believe that strike action can be planned in ways that have only minor impact on students, and significant impact on the University internally.

"We realise some of our postgraduates are members of UCU so we will do what we can to support them."

The University has been contacted for comment.