Thousands of university staff to strike for 18 days between February and March

More than 70,000 staff at 150 universities across the UK will go on strike for 18 days between February and March.

The strike has been called amid disputes over pay, conditions and attacks on pensions, the University College Union (UCU) stated.

Members, which include academics, librarians and other staff, are asking for a pay rise above the 4% to 5% offered by employer group the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

Exact dates will be confirmed next week, the union added.

General secretary Jo Grady said: "The clock is now ticking for the sector to produce a deal or be hit with widespread disruption throughout spring."

The UCU has claimed its average member will lose more than one third of their future retirement income under a "package of cuts" being planned by employers.

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Fresh wave of strikes this month - who is taking action and when

Britain's universities have been rocked by a series of lecturer walkouts since the start of the academic year.

A three-day walkout by UCU members at 150 universities in November was the largest strike by higher education staff in history.

Around 2.5 million students were affected by the industrial action.

The news comes hours after teacher members of the NASUWT failed to meet the legal threshold to strike.

Nine in ten members voted in favour of the walkout - but fewer than half turned out in the vote.

The NASUWT said the vote showed "the anger of the profession".