Unison is threatening an escalating series of industrial actions starting with a two-day strike in November if local government employers do not increase their pay offer.
The union will be balloting its members between October 5 and 26 on action, which if approved would start with two days of strikes between November 14 and 20.
Two other unions have admitted that the latest pay offer is likely to be the best staff can expect. GMB and Unite are currently balloting their members on the pay offer, but are not suggesting industrial action.
The Unite ballot ends on Friday and the GMB one finishes on Monday [October 1].
The latest offer of 2.475% exceeds the government's pay ceiling of 2% for the public sector to rein in inflation. However, Unison said this would be beyond inflation which in August stood at 4.1%.
Today the union wrote to its members urging them to vote en masse in favour of industrial action to bolster its negotiating position.
Unison’s head of local government, Heather Wakefield, said in the letter: “This will be a hard dispute to win. Only with a massive effort by every branch and region will we persuade the employers that the offer is not good enough.”