Warning of industrial action over lecturers' pensions

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The Independent Online

Universities and colleges should brace themselves for a lengthy period of strike action over the threat to lecturers' pensions, a union leader warns today.

In an interview with The Independent, Alan Whitaker, president of the University and College Union, warned that only a period of "sustained" industrial action would prompt a change of heart over the proposals.

He was speaking on the eve of his union's annual conference, which opens today in Harrogate and is expected to back demands for a 24-hour general strike by public service employees .

However, Mr Whitaker told The Independent that union leaders were "absolutely clear that, unless they were to achieve an acceptable settlement in their dispute, sustained industrial action well into the autumn term and possibly beyond that would be necessary". He said he believed lecturers would be "very angry" over the proposals.

"That's inevitable but I hope as well there is going to be a sense of defiance among them," he added.