STRIKING Bangor University staff dressed as pensioners, waved banners and sang rousing songs of protest around Bangor clock today.

They were staging a lunchtime rally as part of strike action to against national plans to slash their pensions.

The staff and supporters marched from Bangor University’s Main Building, at noon and walked towards the clock. At 1pm, they were addressed by Ll?r Gryffudd AM and trade union representatives.

Represented by the UCU Union they were taking part in a national UK dispute over proposed changes to the USS pension scheme. Bangor University UCU branch president, Penny Dowdney said:

“We are pleased that Universities UK (UUK) and the Union met with the conciliation service ACAS today (Monday, March 5). We are reluctant to strike, but have felt compelled to take action in the face of damaging cuts to pensions. We thank everyone who came today. We must stick together, we have a long way to go."

Speaking to the crowd Plaid Cymru AM Ll?r Griffiths said: "I fully back this action. and applaud you for standing up against the proposals. Maintaining academic excellence depends on retaining people such as you and encouraging others to come in to the sector. But if they see this kind of thing happening people will walk away. We will all suffer then, not just lecturers and students, but the wider economy suffers."

"Lorrie Murphy UCU Bangor secretary; health and safety officer said: "It's our sixth day of action. Today went really well, with a fantastic show of support. People have stood on pickets even in the snow. We have also organised a series of 'teach outs,' free educational sessions. All are welcome to come along."

Teach- Outs, will be held from March 5-8 and March 13-19 - strike days.

Details at Twitter and Facebook @UCU_Bangor and UCU Prifysgol Bangor/ Bangor University UCU. The Union is also to fundraise for Bangor’s homeless. A Just Giving Page is at ) Members and supporters are asked to donate clothes, shoes and sleeping materials to St Mary’s Hostel, Bangor.