SCHOOLS and colleges in Kirklees could be forced to shut in a one-day strike over pensions.
Thousands of local authority workers are due to walkout in protest at raising their retirement age to 65.
Cooks, refuse collectors, home helps and others will join more than a million workers across the country on the industrial action.
Many of them are women in the lowest-paid jobs.
Kirklees Council said today it was awaiting the result of national talks which could avert the strike due on March 28.
A spokesman said: "If the action goes ahead, we will ensure that essential, emergency services are available on the day."
Disruption will hit Kirklees Council, Kirklees Active Leisure, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing and the careers service.
Non-teaching staff are also due to strike at Huddersfield University, Huddersfield Technical College, Huddersfield New College and Greenhead College.
Workers due to go on strike today told of their determination to fight for equal pension rights.
Unions are angry at Government plans to scrap a rule that allows some to retire on a full pension at 60.
Town hall leaders claim the current pension arrangements place an undue burden on council tax levels.
Unions say the move is unfair as other public sector workers such as teachers and police, have had their retirement rights protected.
Dave Smith, T&G union convenor in Kirklees, said the workers had faithfully paid 6% contributions to their pension funds.
He said: "This strike is about defending low-paid council workers, the majority of whom are women.
"They have been told they cannot take their full pension rights at age 60 after years of hard work and paying into the scheme."
The so-called 85-year rule states that members of the Local Government Pension Scheme can retire at 60 on a full pension if their age and their years of service add up to 85 or more.
Paul Holmes, Kirklees Unison branch secretary, said: "The protection of pensions is a major worry for all people at present - both in the private and public sector.
"Trade unions have to be at the forefront of defending pensions."
Members of nine trade unions voted heavily in favour of industrial action.
The 24-hour stoppage on March 28 is claimed to be the UK's biggest industrial action since the General Strike of 1926.
Union leaders warned there will be further strikes and other forms of industrial action which could disrupt the May local council elections.