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University staff stage strike over wages row

BY CLAIRE WILLIAMSON

Lectures, libraries and university services in Northern Ireland were cancelled or closed yesterday as staff staged a one-day national walkout in an ongoing row over pay.

Staff at Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster who belong to the University and College Union (UCU) and Unite joined the one-day protest as part of a UK-wide strike of Unison members.

The strike centres on a 1% pay rise offered to university staff. The unions have described this as a 13% pay cut in real terms since October 2008.

In a statement, Queen's said it took all necessary steps to ensure that it was business as usual yesterday.

President of the UCU at Queen's University, Professor Mike Larkin, said union members felt they had little option but to strike.

"Queen's uses the slogan 'We are exceptional'. It is time they rewarded the whole staff that made it so," he said.

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