SCHOOLS across Kirklees could be thrown into exam chaos by striking staff.
Unions are threatening to ballot workers including caretakers, cleaners and technicians on potential industrial action if talks with their employer, Jarvis, break down.
If the worst comes to the worst it could mean an all-out strike.
Unison and the GMB unions are angry at `inconsistencies' in terms and conditions between Jarvis employees at the Private Finance Initiative schools and their counterparts who are employed by Kirklees Council.
More than 300 workers at 20 schools could down tools if a strike goes ahead.
Action would take place during the busy exam period before the summer holidays, potentially throwing them into chaos.
In a statement the unions said: "An urgent meeting with Jarvis has been requested by the trade unions.
"Failure to redress the inconsistencies will lead to schools being disrupted during exam times.
"The members feel enough is enough."
The unions say there are discrepancies in holiday entitlement, sick pay and overtime rates between Jarvis staff and Kirklees staff.
They also say there are differences among Jarvis employees.
Jarvis is in negotiations over a possible transfer of its contract to German company Hochtief
And union bosses are demanding that the dispute is resolved before the transfer.
GMB branch secretary David Hoyle said: "Jarvis employees are part of the schools system as much as those who work for the council. Everybody should be treated the same.
"We don't want a two-tier workforce within local authorities because it breeds bad industrial relations.
"If action takes place it will have an impact on the lives of hundreds of students.
"None of us wants that, but at the end of the day we want equality for our members."
Unison chief education steward Mike Forster said: "This has been rumbling on for ages, but has now come to a head as the employees now face being transferred to another employer.
"Jarvis should acknowledge its responsibility that everyone doing the same job should get the same pay.
"The caretakers and cleaners in the other 180 Kirklees schools get paid more than the people working for Jarvis.
"If labour is withdrawn it will cause huge difficulties for the schools. They will have to run a limited service and may not even be able to open."
A Jarvis spokeswoman said a deal with Hochtief had not been finalised.
She added: "We recognise our obligations to all our employees and intend to ensure they are properly protected as provided for by law.
"The terms and conditions currently in place were the subject of detailed negotiations and agreement with both the GMB and Unison.
"Jarvis has agreed to meet the GMB and Unison on Wednesday and will work with them to ensure that the legislation is properly applied."
"Jarvis is in discussions with Kirklees Schools Services, a joint venture owned by the council and investment company Secondary Market Infrastructure Fund, concerning the transfer of its contract to Hochtief."