A UNION has hailed a U-turn by Bangor University bosses over plans for "adverse changes" to support staff pensions as "a victory."

UNISON, which represents staff who provide public services, employed in both the public and private sectors, had organised a "hands off our pensions" rally at the university on Tuesday, May 7.

However, as hoards of placard and banner waving union members were starting to gather for the protest, planned for 12noon at Main Arts, the Bangor University executive announced it had changed its mind.

The rally then turned into a victory celebration.

A spokesperson for the university said: “Following careful consideration of the feedback received on proposals to change the university’s local pension scheme (BUPAS), the Executive has today decided that the scheme will remain unchanged.

“The University listened carefully to the responses provided by staff, and is grateful to everyone who engaged constructively with the consultation process.”

Responding to the announcement that, under pressure from UNISON, Bangor University had dropped its plans, Wendy Allison, UNISON Cymru Wales regional organiser, said: “UNISON is celebrating a tremendous victory.

"We’ve tapped into a strong sense of injustice amongst support staff who have come out in droves to respond to the University consultation that the changes are unjust and unfair. We are glad Bangor has seen sense and dropped the proposals.

"We hope this sends an important message to the institution that support staff should not be treated as second class employees and UNISON looks forward to a positive working relationship with Bangor University.”

UNISON press officer Alastair Gittins added: "It went from a protest to a victory rally. It was fantastic!"