Dundee officials have been accused of trying to quietly pass cuts to swimming lessons in the city.
Helen Meldrum, of GMB Union’s Dundee branch, said Leisure and Culture Dundee (LCD) is trying to force through cuts to pool classes without “meaningful” negotiations.
LCD has counter-claimed it is increasing lesson hours across the city as a whole.
Ms Meldrum claims the changes represent a 45% reduction in practical terms, as local baths will only be open for four days a week.
She said: “As there has been no consultation with any parents or adults who access these lessons, who is to say they can attend on the days these have been cut to?”
It is understood the changes are to be implemented by the end of the month.
We have written to the leader of Dundee City council about cuts to swimming provision in the city
— GMB Dundee Branch (@GMBDundee) September 27, 2019
The union is also preparing a petition in the hope people will “get behind” potentially affected workers.
The number of weekly hours at Lochee Baths has already fallen from nine hours to six since 2016/17, according to data released through freedom of information legislation.
Ms Meldrum said: “It’s almost like they want to run the Learn to Swim program into the ground.
“They have not entered into meaningful discussion with the trade unions over this issue. Zero hour contract workers are being hit hard.
“One of our members is losing 13 hours at work and they rely on that for their rent. This is not just a workers’ issue, it’s a community issue as well.”
A LCD spokesman said: “Our intention is to increase the number of new Learn to Swim sessions by 17 to a total of 153 classes at Grove and St Pauls Swim and Sports Centres.
“This will provide a service which better reflects customer requirements. We actually propose increasing the number of permanent posts to reduce reliance on fixed terms and casual working arrangements.
“This is designed to improve opportunities, retention of staff and reduce staff turnover.
“We don’t have zero hour contracts at LCD and regret factual inaccuracies in the GMB statement.”
In answer to the LCD response Helen Meldrum added: “Casual staff are zero hours staff, as LCD do not have to offer hours and the worker does not have to work hours offered.
“If that’s not a zero hours contract then what is?”
Meanwhile, LCD apologised for a “short-term” disruption Lochee Leisure Centre earlier this week.
Staff were drafted from across the city to reopen the centre on Tuesday after it suddenly closed on Monday, after some staff became suddenly unavailable.