Council workers in Dundee are “chomping at the bit” to take on the local authority over what they claim are threats to their terms and conditions.
Trade unions claim changes to the managing workforce change policy, approved by councillors in January, will open the door to potential job and pay cuts.
The agreement reduces the period for which pay will be protected for people who move jobs from three years to one.
Unions claim the changes reverse a long-standing commitment that there will be no compulsory redundancies, although the SNP administration has said no such policy was ever formally adopted.
The policy also means employees seeking flexible retirement will now have to retire fully within two years.
Unite regional industrial officer Bob Macgregor said his union, UNISON and the GMB believed members were not properly consulted over the shift.
They want the council to suspend or reverse the changes until more negotiations have taken place.
Unite members held a mass meeting this week and all three unions intend to ballot members over proposed strike action in the next couple of weeks.
Consultative ballots held earlier in the year showed overwhelming support for industrial action and Mr Macgregor said attitudes had hardened since then.
He said: “Our members are chomping at the bit to take action because they see this as the thin end of the wedge.
“The process that was used was not agreed with the unions and this is a red line for us.”
Unite representatives met Dundee City Council chief executive David Martin on Wednesday but were told there are no plans to revisit the policy and resources committee’s decision.
Mr Macgregor said: “Unite and our sister trade unions will now all be balloting our members for industrial action and 100% that could involve strikes.”
Council leader John Alexander has said the local authority remains determined to avoid compulsory job losses and it has never had a formal policy on whether or not they would be allowed.
A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “The managing workforce change policy is not about compulsory redundancy.
“It does not change the approach that has been taken for the last decade, during which there have been no compulsory redundancies involving permanent employees.
“What the policy does is allow Dundee City Council to better manage the opportunities and challenges that the coming years will bring, in a transparent way.”
He added: “The breadth of measures contained in the new policy that the council would consider first – ranging from redeployment and reskilling to early retirement and voluntary redundancy – and aligning to the Cosla Leaders’ Statement on Workforce Reductions, underlines our determination to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible.
“It also obliges councils to do everything they reasonably can to manage workforce change with sensitivity and compassion.”
The spokesman said the council would continue to meet union representatives in the coming weeks.