Trade union Unison has threatened strike action if the council announce any compulsory redundancies in next month’s budget.

The union has raised the alarm over proposals to cut trade union “facility time” for public sector workers in the budget for Brighton and Hove City Council.

Unison, which took on over 500 pieces of casework for council staff in the last year, has said that a full industrial action ballot would be on the cards if any compulsory redundancies are announced in the budget by the Labour administration.

Details of how the council plans to plug a £33 million budget funding gap are expected to be made public tomorrow.

A spokeswoman for Unison said: “Councils everywhere are in crisis because of years of severe government underfunding.

“The union will do all it can to stop planned local cuts harming the Brighton community and hitting jobs at the council.

“Unison will continue to make the case for alternatives to the cuts and act in the best interests of the staff it represents. This may include a ballot for possible strike action.”

Green councillors have hit out at the prospect of curtailing union advice and support for public service workers facing job cuts and redundancy proposals.

Steve Davis, leader of the Green group on the council, said: “I am gobsmacked that at the exact time our public services face the biggest cuts this city has seen in years, with hundreds of jobs set to be axed, that this is when Labour would seek to hack at workers’ rights by slashing trade union time and resources. So much for the party of workers’ rights.

“The party built off the back of collective action by workers are now seemingly abandoning their principles exactly when people need trade union help the most.

“It’s telling that in previous years this exact proposal was one routinely put forward by the local Conservative group - it used to be Labour and the Greens jointly defending trade unions from attack.

“Now Labour are taking a leaf straight out of the Tory playbook.”

Jacob Taylor, the council’s finance lead, said the council was having to make “extremely difficult decisions to avoid bankruptcy” in the face of over £30 million of budget savings.

He said: “As the Greens are well aware, we are facing a Tory budget gap over £30 million. This is by far the largest package of cuts that Brighton and Hove City Council has ever had to face.

“As a majority Labour council, we have the mandate to decide how to achieve a balanced budget, in the face of significant challenges.

“However, we are acutely aware of the impact on this budget on staff, the community and voluntary sector and residents which is why we’ve been consulting closely with our recognised unions and will now begin our process of consulting with staff.

“The local government finance settlement was only confirmed by central government in December last year. They announced small changes to the settlement only last week, following lobbying about the inadequacy of the original settlement. As a result, our budget proposals have taken time to finalise.

“Between the 14 years of Tory cuts from central government and the mismanagement of the council’s budget by the Greens, it is no wonder we are not seeking their advice on how to manage the council’s finances.”