Beleaguered Education Secretary Michael Gove faces the start of open-ended industrial action short of a strike at his department tomorrow as 1,800 civil servants protest over planned 50 per cent cuts.
Civil servants' union PCS said the cuts - announced after a "review" assisted by consultancy firm Bain and Company - threaten the jobs of a quarter of the workforce and half of the department's 12 offices.
Mr Gove has also been called to give fresh evidence to MPs over allegations of bullying behaviour by key advisers - the education select committee wants him and permanent secretary Chris Wormald recalled.
The announcement comes weeks after Mr Gove wrote to the cross-party group insisting he had "never been made aware" of bullying allegations following Labour claims that he may have misled Parliament.
PCS said its lawyers had written to the DfE warning it faces hundreds of unfair dismissal claims if it presses ahead with its plea that it is not in a "redundancy situation" despite aiming to axe 1,000 jobs.
Tomorrow's action includes working to rule and non-compliance with a new performance management system. Further action including walkouts is being considered.
The union is awaiting the results on Monday of a national ballot of 250,000 of its members over cuts to pay, pensions and terms and conditions.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Staff who work in education do so because they are dedicated to providing important public services, not so they can be used as pawns in a political experiment by education secretary Michael Gove and his advisers."
He welcomed the recall as a "sign that (Mr Gove's) political project is coming under increasing scrutiny."