A union representing lecturers at Ireland’s Institutes of Technology has accused the Government of rushing through legislation to create technological universities with "reckless haste".
The Teachers' Union of Ireland says the Technological Universities Bill will have major implications for the IOT sector and needs debate and considered engagement before enactment.
The union has decided to ballot its IOT members on strike action over what it says are grave concerns they have about the bill.
The union also says it will withdraw from all talks regarding the merging of various ITs with immediate effect.
The ballot will take place early next month.
TUI president Gerry Quinn said the bill, which is being rushed through the enactment process, contained significant threats to the sector and to the working conditions of academic staff.
He said the union wanted to secure a negotiated, national resolution to those key issues.
He said the union remained "critically concerned about the potential consequences of this bill given the current crisis of underfunding, understaffing and precarious employment in the institutes".
Mr Quinn said the union believed that the requirement that ITs must merge before they could apply for Technological University status was more related to rationalisation than to any academic considerations.
He said mergers had to be appropriately funded.