KIRKLEES Council could be left financially crippled after union bosses said they would pursue a pay claim worth up to £30m.
The massive figure is what trade union Unison believes the council could be due to pay its members after years of unequal pay.
Members of the union rejected Kirklees's first offer of £7m earlier this year.
The union is now recommending they snub the council's latest offer of £13m.
The claim relates to 3,000 workers - mostly women - who, due to bonus and reward schemes in other similar jobs, missed out on thousands of pounds.
The jobs were in sectors such as cleaning and school meals.
Paul Holmes, Unison branch secretary, said: "We are recommending that our members reject this offer.
"This claim is for six years. But the council are saying they don't want to work it out and just rely on last year's hours."
Mr Holmes said the union had 80 tribunal cases pending. They were due to start in February.
He added: "The most anyone will get from these council offers is £7,300.
"We think some claims are worth double that.
"We estimate that the true cost of the claim would be between £20m and £30m.
"It's a case of Take Your Pick. They either take the money or open the box, which in this case could be a tribunal."
Cliff Stuart, Kirklees Council's head of human resources, said officials would continue offering staff payments.
He added: "There will be staff who take the payment, because its preferable to be sure of the money you are going to get, rather than going to a tribunal."
Mr Stuart said the latest offer would be the council's last one. He added: "We have exhausted our resources within a budget that is manageable."
He said there would be no Government cash to cover any shortfall in services due to the payout.
* If anyone eligible for compensation has not received a letter from Kirklees giving their hours and role in the period in question they should contact their line manager.