Hull College Group, which has sites in Hull, Goole and Harrogate, has announced plans to axe 231 posts.
The UCU said the college had also threatened to dismiss any staff who refuse to sign up to new contracts.
UCU regional official Julie Kelley said the college had failed to provide details of their financial plan and they felt they had “no option” but to commence a strike ballot.
She said: “The proposed speed and scale of these cuts is a devastating blow to staff, students and the local community.
“These changes will mean fewer contact hours for students, fewer learning opportunities for local people and huge loss of specialist expertise.
“It’s difficult to see how losing a third of the workforce will lead to a sustainable future for the college.”
Students have been protesting in recent days over the cuts.
The Government has given the college an “eight-figure” “Fresh Start” grant to allow for the restructure at the college, which had run up a £10m deficit over four years.
In a statement the college said it was surprised and disappointed by the “unecessary and premature” move.
It added: “We are very clear, however, that industrial action will not contribute anything positive to the consultation process and is not a solution to ensure the future success of the group.”