TWO universities in the North-East are to be hit with 14 days of strikes in a row over pensions.

Staff in Durham and Newcastle will be taking industrial action over a four week period, starting with a five-day walkout on February 22.

They are among 61 institutions in the country taking part.

University and College Union general secretary Sally Hunt said: “Staff who have delivered the international excellence universities boast of are angry at efforts to slash their pensions.”

Last week, talks between UCU and the employers’ representative Universities UK (UUK) ended without agreement over plans to transform the scheme.

The union has said they would leave a typical lecturer almost £10,000 a year worse off in retirement than under the current set-up.

Ms Hunt said: “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.”