Staff at Acas have begun voting in a ballot which could see strike action hit the conciliation service.
More than 630 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) working for Acas are being balloted on a walkout or action short of a strike, in a dispute about pay.
The ballot – which runs until 27 August – follows delays in settling this year’s pay deal and a pay submission to the Treasury, which the union believes will result in pay cuts in real terms.
This year’s pay increase for staff was due on 1 August, but negotiations have yet to start. The row follows a 10-month delay in paying the 2007 increase, which also led to a strike vote.
Dave Cliff, PCS national officer for Acas, said: “After the 10-month delay to last year’s pay rise we had an agreement that this year’s settlement would be paid on time.
“The prospect of a repeat of last year’s delay, combined with the likelihood of a below-inflation pay award, has left staff feeling angry and betrayed.”
Acas said it had started discussions with the union to resolve the situation as soon as possible.