The dispute is a result of Arriva offering a pay increase of 4.1 per cent - less than half of the real inflation rate (RPI) of nine per cent.
Many of the company’s bus drivers are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living crisis continues to bite. New starters are on just £9.78 an hour, just 28p an hour above the minimum wage.
The ballot opened this week and will close on Monday, May 23. If workers vote in favour of industrial action, strikes could begin in early June.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This offer is a pay cut and is unacceptable to Unite.
"Arriva has to think again and come back with an offer that fully reflects this cost of living crisis.
“Unite is totally dedicated to defending and improving our members' jobs, pay and conditions.
"Our Arriva members have the full support of their union in this fight to secure a decent pay deal.”
Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “Strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption to bus passengers across Yorkshire but this dispute is entirely of Arriva’s own making as workers are not prepared to accept poverty pay rates any longer.
“Disruption can be avoided if Arriva makes a pay offer which meets members’ expectations.”