Dozens of teaching staff at the University of Huddersfield could join a national strike over pay next week causing disruption to exams.

Though term time is over for most students there are still some end-of-year exams which could be affected.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) will join a national stoppage in protest over a 1.1% pay offer.

The UCU has some 400 members at Huddersfield, around half the staff, however it is not known how many will walk out.

The strikes are due to take place on Wednesday and Thursday (May 25 and 26) and there will be pickets on the main entrance from 8am to noon on both days.

Union leaders have reacted furiously to big pay rises for university vice-chancellors – including Huddersfield’s Prof Bob Cryan – who have seen salaries and benefits increase by an average of 5.1%.

In February the union claimed Prof Cryan’s pay package had risen by 15% over the previous 12 months taking him to £337,000 a year.

Vice Chancellor Professor Bob Cryan

Jackie Lane, Huddersfield’s UCU branch secretary, said the last strike was two years ago and previous action took place in term time.

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“There are still some exams taking place and there will be an impact on exams and marking,” she said.

Members will also start working to contract from Wednesday which means sticking to their 37 hours a week.

Ms Lane said: “We will be working the hours we are paid for. Most people work well in excess of the 37 hours and the university sector has relied on this goodwill.”

The union says that due to modest pay awards since 2009 university staff had seen a real terms pay cut of 14.5%.

The squeeze had come as university leaders saw an average increase of around 3% and came as universities had more income available.

Ms Lane said tuition fees “more than covered” the cost of teaching leaving a surplus but rank and file staff were not benefiting.

The glass goes in at the university's new Oastler Building below

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Instead universities were investing heavily in “new fancy buildings” – like the £27 million Oastler building – and other facilities in a bid to attract as many students as possible.

“It is not just Huddersfield, it’s happening at a lot of universities,” she said. “There is now no limit on the number of students and it’s just a marketplace.”

The union is seeking a 5% pay rise from negotiations which are handled nationally.

A university spokesman said: “We are aware that some members of the UCU at the university will take industrial action so various measures have been put in place in advance to lessen the impact on our students and to avoid disruption generally.”