Radiographers are to be balloted for strikes after rejecting the government’s pay offer.
Members of the Society of Radiographers (SoR) in England voted by 80% against the offer.
The union, which represents professional radiographers and other staff working in medical imaging and radiotherapy, said 65% of its members voted in the ballot.
Health workers have been offered a 5% pay rise this year and a cash payment for last year.
Leandre Archer, head of industrial relations at the SoR, said: “Our members have spoken, and it is quite clear that they will not accept another pay cut in real terms.
“The latest offer which is less than half of inflation does nothing to deal with the increasing pressure of the cost-of-living crisis they are currently experiencing and will further exacerbate the ongoing radiography recruitment and retention crisis.
“The Government must reopen negotiations and put a significantly better offer on the table to avoid strike action.”
Ms Archer added: “Radiographers have been battling rising vacancy numbers and a depleted workforce coupled with ever increasing workloads over the past number of years.
“This has led to them working excessive hours with limited flexible working opportunities which is causing burnout and fatigue. Many are choosing to leave the profession as they cannot work under such conditions.
“Our members are seeing first-hand the increasing discharge times and the deterioration of patients on lengthy waiting lists right across the service and now they have said enough is enough.
“Fair pay is one of the ways we can attract people into the profession and with higher levels of staffing we can meet demands and ensure safe and effective care for patients.
“The Government needs to listen to Radiographers to avoid further escalation onto the picket lines, a decision must be made quickly to return to the negotiating table and provide a better offer. Our members are telling us that they are prepared to take a stand for fair pay and better working conditions and the Government must take heed as 95% of patients attending a hospital have either a diagnostic X-ray or scan or radiotherapy treatment.”