Councils across the north will consider a “collective response” to the latest expected cut in their government grants as a result of this week’s budget statement.
The local authorities’ organisation Cosla is warning that a further reduction will inevitably hit the poorest.
Community leaders in the Highlands say the financial situation is already “grim.”
In the last five years, Scotland’s 32 local authorities have shed a total of 40,000 jobs to help balance their books.
In areas where local government is the main employer, such as Highland, Cosla considers that statistic “catastrophic.”
Finance chiefs in Inverness estimate further government grant cuts totalling £75million over the next three years.
This year’s record single-year saving of £50million was 10% of the authority’s budget.
Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson said: “I’ll be at Cosla on Friday. We need to be doing something collectively.
“The UK statement will give us a feel for what to expect in Scotland but we need to know the Scottish Government is doing its best to get the money to local government to support the services that we’re desperate to keep going, and not to use it on more questionable projects.
“They’re setting up a board of trade in Europe, that’s one of their schemes. Please, it’s more important that we keep the money for frontline services such as keeping our roads gritted this winter.”
Cosla’s finance spokesman Kevin Keenan said: “The decisions taken by the UK Government later this week and by Scottish government ministers next month will have a massive bearing in terms of local services and local jobs.
“It would be a dereliction of duty if I didn’t make the chancellor in London and the cabinet secretary in Edinburgh fully aware of the consequences of their actions if yet again local government, local services and local jobs bear the brunt of their cuts.”
He called for “an honest debate,” warning “there’s no more meat on the bone.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Despite the cuts to the Scottish budget from the UK Government, the Scottish Government has treated local government very fairly.
“It is too early to speculate on next year’s local government settlement in light of the ongoing discussions between the Scottish Government and Cosla on the Spending Review and the wider public service reform agenda, and also in advance of the UK Government Autumn Statement.
“Both will have a significant impact on the final local government settlement which will not be confirmed until later in December.”