Nearly 500 lecturers at a Midland college are to be sacked and forced to re-apply for their jobs under new "inferior" contracts before Christmas.
The move is part of a restructuring drive at Walsall College of Arts and Technology which will also see the institution scrap all its A-level provision, and possible redundancies.
Union officials last night condemned the measures, which they claimed had been introduced without consultation and would cause huge stress during the festive period.
They now plan to ballot members about strike action.
A total of 470 out of 773 employees are affected by the drive, which will not affect any managerial roles.
Walsall College said the cuts were necessary to ensure "value for money in the use of limited public funds".
But according to college lecturers' union NATFHE, staff were being treated unfairly.
Kevin Buckley, chairman of the college's NATFHE branch, said: "This union believes that if there are to be changes in what is taught at Walsall College then at least the learners, local community and the teaching staff should have been consulted.
"To then use this curriculum review as justification for redundancies and dismissals and the re-engagement of 470 people is completely unacceptable.
"When they re-apply for their jobs, the positions will have an inferior contract that will spell worse working conditions.
"We want the process to be halted and for NATFHE to be able to discuss the curriculum review with the college."
Mr Buckley also claimed students half-way through A-level programmes would be forced to find a place at a local school or in some cases unable to complete their study at all.
The college however maintained it was "committed" to ensuring no student was affected.
It said the A-level courses were being axed because they were not performing well and failing to meet the needs of the local community.
The measures are based on recommendations from consultants hired by the college to undertake a review of its curriculum.
In a letter to staff, the college said there was a need to "realign itself to further meet the needs of its learners, industry and the wider community".
A spokesman last night added: "Walsall has been highlighted as an area in need of regeneration.
"Attendant to that is a change in Government policy to colleges. That involves looking at quality and value for money. We are looking at courses to say these are what we can provide the best provision in and these are the ones in which we don't give the best industry standards.
"This restructure will also ensure that Walsall College is providing value for money in the use of limited public funds."
Lecturers are to be put on a new pay scale under the drive which, the college claimed, would mean a fiveEper cent annual rise and increase the pay of some lecturers by up to #4,000.
The average salary for a college lecturer is #25,000-a-year.
The spokesman added: "The college cannot rule out compulsory redundancies. However, the number of these is likely to be small."
The threat of strikes at Walsall comes in the wake of mass industrial action last month by college lecturers to draw attention to a long-running pay dispute with the Government.
NATFHE is demanding college lecturers gain parity of pay with schoolteachers and has rejected a 2.8Eper cent pay offer.
Staff at 30 out of the region's 39 colleges walked out in November with further strike action threatened next year if principals fail to implement the new pay scale.
Walsall College, however, has agreed to implement the nationally-set new pay scale.