UP to 250 jobs could go at a Scottish local authority which is aiming to save £24 million over the next four years.
Stirling Council has notified the Insolvency Service about the potential jobs threat as it looks to shave £9m off budgets in 2013/14 alone.
It said it hoped the bulk of the cuts will surround the termination of temporary contracts.
The Stirling branch of Britain's biggest public sector trade union, Unison, condemned the move which it felt pre-empted talks over budget plans.
James Douglas, Stirling Unison branch secretary, said: "We knew we were facing a challenging round of negotiations, but the employer's move to take this drastic action is totally unnecessary and unwarranted.
"It suggests that damaging decisions to cut vital services on which our communities – and indeed our members and their families – depend, have already been made.
"Some of the proposals coming forward are completely unwarranted."
Unison regional organiser David O'Connor added: "You can only cut so much before you reach breaking point. We are now at that point."
Stirling Council said it had to make "very challenging" reductions in the cost of the workforce and said there is "no doubt many employees will be unsettled by the options that are having to be looked at".
It added: "While the council wants to ensure its employees have a good package of terms and conditions, changes are, however, necessary to bring down costs."
It said the "extent of the reductions in costs required mean there will have to be job losses".
Stirling Council leader Corrie McChord said: "In preparing our budget we are examining all options for cutting costs and improving efficiency, rather than cutting services to our citizens."
A meeting on February 21 will be held to ratify the savings.