College lecturers in the EIS-Fela union were set to begin a strike ballot over pay on Friday of this week.
It follows a thumping 92 percent vote for strikes in an indicative ballot last December.
Lecturers have been demanding equal pay across Scotland since the Scottish National Party (SNP) government ordered a return to national pay bargaining in October 2014.
Their wages can range from £24,000 to £39,000 a year.
But several colleges are refusing to be part of national bargaining.
Scottish college bosses also announced last week that they are imposing a one percent pay deal, which will widen pay differences.
John Kelly, the EIS-Fela FE president, said, “It has become increasingly obvious that colleges are playing a game of brinksmanship, and will only give ground when they are challenged.
“This means that EIS members in colleges must step up and be willing to take action, for without your action, colleges will continue to treat staff as badly as they can get away with.”
Lecturers in colleges that haven’t signed up to national bargaining will be balloted separately to force their managements into line.
There is a lot at stake. The SNP’s anti-austerity credentials are tarnished by the cuts it is meting out in FE. If the dispute is not resolved quickly, action could take place in the run-up to the Scottish parliamentary elections in May.
John Kelly said, “If we are to win a fair pay rise and equalise pay we have no alternative but to vote yes in the ballot.”