STAFF at Essex University have voted to take industrial action in a row over changes to pensions.

Talks are scheduled between the University and College Union and 69 universities - including Essex - tomorrow to see if a resolution can be found.

Union bosses have said if detrimental changes to The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) - the pension scheme for most UK universities - go ahead, members will decide what form the disruption will take and when it would start.

The most likely outcome would see members carry out a marking boycott and refuse to set exams, which would result in students not getting formal marks or feedback.

The changes to the scheme have been prompted by an expected financial deficit.

But the union says the method used to calculate the deficit is too simplistic and doesn’t take account of the scheme’s strengths because it has grown by £8billion since 2011.

Research by First Actuarial has shown academics would stand to lose thousands of pounds worse off if the changes did go through.

In the ballot, 78 per cent of those who voted, voted for strike action.

Some 87 per cent voted for action short of a strike, which could include a marking boycott.

Just below half of members voted.