Trade unions representing staff at Cornwall Council are to ballot their members over proposed changes to terms and conditions.
The council wants to make the changes to help deliver savings of about £6m in the next financial year.
Proposed changes include a pay freeze from 1 February 2011 to 31 March 2012, new overtime rates and removal of some allowances.
The ballot is likely to take place in the New Year.
The council is aiming to save a total of £170m over four years, with about 700 jobs expected to go.
Chief Executive Kevin Lavery said the council had earmarked for £1m for teaching new skills to staff so they could be redeployed.
"This has been a very complex process which has involved many, many hours of discussions," he said.
"Our aim has been to capture the savings that can be delivered through changes to terms and conditions as early as possible and by agreement with the unions.
"This will reduce delays in implementing these cost reductions and mean that we do not have make bigger savings in the future".