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Staff at colleges and universitys across the North East are taking part in a strikes today over proposed job losses and changes to their pay and pensions.
Members of the University and College Union have joined a UK-wide walkout to protest at a second consecutive real-terms annual pay cut and a lack of agreement on job security.
UCU members have been on picket lines across the region and there was a rally at monument in Newcastle earlier with a march down Northumberland Street
The union has received the support of the National Union of Students, despite the likely disruption to their members' studies.
UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: ``Strike action is always a last resort but the attacks on pay and jobs have created real anger and, instead of burying their heads in the sand, the employers need to respond urgently to our concerns. University staff really value their pension rights and those in the USS scheme in Scotland have made their views of the detrimental changes crystal clear.
``Staff are sick to the back teeth of being told that their pay and pensions need to be cut to pay for an economic crisis created by others.''