Workers in East Lothian could take industrial action after the local authority decided to sack more than 1,500 workers and re-employ them on worse conditions.
All council workers who do not accept the single status pay structure will be issued with new contracts.
Those who refuse to accept their new positions will be issued with 12 weeks statutory notice of dismissal.
The workers are balloting for strike action. A consulative ballot revealed that 60 percent of members are willing to strike over the long-running dispute.
The council plans to impose cuts in payments for weekend working and treat Saturday and Sunday as part of the normal working week.
Unison union branch secretary Sandra Kennie said the council risked being known as “21st century Thatcherites out to crush the workers”.
Sandra Kennie, secretary of Unison’s East Lothian council branch, said, “Many workers have refused to sign this package and we know that some who have have done so for fear of losing their job.
“Make no mistake, this is the thin end of the wedge. East Lothian, by trying to impose their cuts on staff, have given the lie to their claim to be ‘an employer of choice’.
What ‘choice’ are they offering their staff now?”
The ballot ends on Friday of next week.