Newcastle City Council could face strike action as it plans to cut workers pay in an attempt to introduce equal pay.
A council report leaked to the Newcastle Journal has revealed more than 5,000 workers are set to get a pay rise backdated to 2007, but a further 1,400 council employees could see their salaries cut.
Unions have said 700 employees could experience a pay cut of more than £2,500.
The council is bracing itself for an equal pay bill of more than £24m.
But unions have argued that staff should not lose out because of an increase in their colleagues’ salaries and have said they are prepared to ballot members for strike action if staff face pay cuts.
Kenny Bell, secretary for the Newcastle branch of Unison, said: “We think as a result of the introduction of equal pay no-one should have to take a pay cut and we will be mounting a vigorous campaign to make sure that is not the case.
“Industrial action cannot be ruled out if we can’t come to a sensible solution.”
The city council is already making 510 employees redundant as part of a transformation programme to save £169m over five years.