BANGOR University staff have embarked on eight days of strike action to protest about their pay and pensions.

Increased workloads, stress, job insecurity, contracts and inequality have also been highlighted during industrial action being taken by teaching staff at universities across Wales.

The strike, by members of the University and College Union (UCU), started yesterday (Monday) and will run until December 4.

It is anticipated some disruption to lectures will be caused.

Dyfrig Jones, Bangor UCU President, said: "We are striking over a number of things, we have seen a distinct deterioration in our pay and pensions.

"With our pensions, there is a need for us to pay more in, but a real danger of getting less out in the long term.

"Other issues include precarious contracts, there is now often no job security and no progression for people coming into higher education jobs, it is often more difficult for people to progress to senior positions, especially for women and ethnic minorities."

On its UCU Facebook page Bangor staff said they would demonstrate their "commitment" to education whilst protesting by organising a programme of "teach outs." The free community sessions are being held in venues across Bangor.

Staff are picketing University buildings but will also march at midday, on Friday, from the Main Arts building to the Cenotaph for a rally and speeches.

Among those addressing the gathering will be Arfon Plaid Cymru candidate Hywel Williams and Steffie Williams Roberts, Welsh Labour candidate.

On the Undeb Bangor Students' Union website a statement read:

"Undeb, Bangor fully supports the rights of staff at the University, and the Trade Unions to take action on issues that affect them and their members.

"Our priority is our students and we are working with the University to mitigate against any adverse effects that strike action might have on the student body."

UNISON has also sent a solidarity message to the staff.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: “UNISON members, alongside UCU members, have experienced rising workloads and increased stress.

“UNISON, alongside UCU, is calling for higher education employers to come back to the negotiating table and make a meaningful improvement to the pay offer for this year.”

Although UNISON members are not striking, Mr Prentis pledged that members and branches would be supporting UCU picket lines in other ways.

He added “Our members deserve more, our members deserve to be heard. We stand together on higher education pay and higher education pensions.”

Arfon candidate and former MP Hywel Williams said: "Hywel Williams said:

"University staff have deep concerns about their pensions. The same sort of problems have come up in other professions.

"The Conservative government have mishandled changes to pensions and this is the effect locally.

"University staff don’t strike often, and not without a great deal of thought beforehand.

"I believe that the employers must engage with this problem and respond to the unions’ legitimate concerns."