STAFF at Heriot-Watt University, which has a Galashiels campus, have backed strike action in response to plans to axe 130 jobs.

Scottish members of the University and College Union overwhelmingly voted in favour of industrial action during a ballot, with 77 per cent of participants supporting a strike.

The ballot, which received a 66 per cent turnout, was in response to the university’s proposals to cut 130 jobs.

These new cuts would add to the 70 staff job losses in 2017, with the university refusing to rule out compulsory redundancies.

READ MORE: Borders could become 'most hi-tech rural area in Europe' after council extends IT contract

UCU Scotland official Mary Senior said: “By voting in these numbers UCU members at Heriot-Watt University have made it crystal clear today that they have no confidence in the university’s plans to cut jobs.

"The ballot result is a clear mandate for industrial action and to oppose job cuts.

“The employer has made good progress on seeking volunteers and should now take compulsory redundancies off the table, to give staff some job security and stability, and students the reassurances they need on the learning environment.

READ MORE: 'Total shock': Borders mum to get honour from Queen for coronavirus efforts

“It’s not too late for the university to avoid strike action but they need to act now.”

The Border Telegraph reported in September that staff were considering taking industrial action over the suggested cuts.

The union said plans to cut jobs have been rushed, with alternative cost-cutting measures not properly explored.

Following previous cuts, the union has warned that losing more staff will impact “both the student experience and the university’s reputation”.