Members of the GMB trade union have declined to join their Unison colleagues at Sheffield Council in balloting for strike action over a pay shake-up.
Instead, Peter Davies, GMB organiser, said his union wants to continue talks with the council in a bid to resolve concerns about a planned restructure to save £3 million by simplifying the current 50 pay rates and removing incremental increases.
However, he said a ballot could not be ruled out if no agreement can be reached.
Unison members gathered for a debate at the Library Theatre, in Sheffield city centre, about the issue.
Rod Padley, Unison regional organiser, believes more than 4,000 of 6,000 staff could lose pay, although about 1,500 people would see their salary rise.