The EADT has been told up to 500 lecturers and other staff, including admin and IT employees, could go on strike at the Colchester campus.
The industrial action comes after it was revealed new Edinburgh University principal Peter Mathieson is set to become the highest-paid figure in Scottish education, picking up a £410,000 welcome package on top of his £342,000 salary.
This will be followed by four days of action between March 5 and March 8, and a full week between March 12 and March 16. But they could potentially return in April, May and June if the bitter dispute is not resolved. The mathematics involved is far more complicated than these petitions discuss and their calls for hundreds of pounds or so of "lost" money is detrimental to wider cause of lecturer wellbeing.
Employees at 61 universities were preparing to start a 14-day walkout on 22 February in protest against Universities UK's plan to scrap the element of the University Superannuation Scheme that guarantees a certain level of pension income in retirement.
The strikes, which will start Thursday and spread over four weeks, is in protest against changes to United Kingdom higher education's biggest pension scheme, a plan that would reportedly make members GBP10,000 a year worse off, in retirement than under the current set-up. The USS must by law show the regulator how it plans to plug it.
One of the "teach-out" co-ordinators, Dr Alison Cameron states: "University staff are very aware of the University's deep roots in the community and the sacrifice made by local people, especially the quarry workers, who made regular financial contributions to establish the University".
The union claims this would leave a typical lecturer nearly £10, 000 a year worse off in retirement than under the current set-up.
"Fairly rewarded staff are the cornerstone of the university experience and that the proposal by Universities UK to substantially cut the pensions of members of the USS pension scheme will be hugely damaging if implemented".
"The USS pension scheme has a deficit of £6.1 billion and the cost of future pensions benefits has increased by one third since 2014", a spokesman said.
"To maintain current benefits, overall contributions would have to increase by approximately £1bn every year". As a University of Bristol (UoB) student I will be affected by the action. It means that institutions could potentially face industrial action during this important point of the academic year.
"We doubt any universities want a prolonged dispute that carries on towards exam season and would urge vice-chancellors to put pressure on Universities UK to get back round the table with us".
Sally Hunt, the UCU's general secretary, called on universities to "stop trying to intimidate staff" and to work harder on lobbying UUK to negotiate with the UCU. "We hope students will continue to put pressure on the vice-chancellors to get their reps back round the negotiating table".
UCU regional official Lydia Richards said: "Nobody wants to take strike action, but staff feel they have no choice". These hardline proposals would slash staff pensions and are simply uncalled for.