Ambulance staff have signalled they could be on the verge of strike action as the service faces a £9.3 million slash to funding.
GMB union organiser Michael Conroy warned staff could take their first industrial action in 25 years over fears already poor working conditions could deteriorate further.
He said: “Our members struggle to get adequate breaks into their 12-hour days already. They are turning up to emergencies tired, hungry and thirsty.
“We already have fears for the safety of patients because of that. Another 4.4 per cent off the budget can only make things worse.
“If the Scottish Government and the Scottish Ambulance Service care about patient safety in the NHS, they have to think again.
“If they don’t quickly provide reassurance that our already poor conditions will not deteriorate further, I will have no hesitation in balloting members about industrial action.”