Staff at Newcastle University could be set to strike for up to 14 days over a disagreement regarding professors’ pensions.

The changes to pensions would mean that employees at both Newcastle and Durham University would no longer be able to claim a ‘defined benefit pension,’ which provides a specific sum to individuals after retirement.

A previous strike outside Newcastle University in May 2016

Strike outside Newcastle University in May 2016

According to The Chronicle, Dr Baker said the change was especially worrying for academics, who tend to start paid employment later in life because of the time spent gaining qualifications, and so have less time to build up cash in pension pots.

A Newcastle University spokesperson commented on the strikes:

“The university is one of 400 employer members of USS. The proposals which have been agreed through national negotiations are aimed at ensuring the scheme is sustainable for the future whilst minimizing any impact on member benefits.

“The changes will be subject to statutory consultation with all USS members over the coming months.

“Newcastle is one of 61 Universities who have been targeted by UCU for strike action. We have formed a working group to help minimise any impact of the industrial action on our students.”

So, bad news for students at Newcastle University who thought they’d be getting two weeks off to watch Netflix – it probably won’t affect you.