It follows a dispute over funding and staffing cuts
Members of the TUI have voted in favour of industrial action at Institutes of Technology around the country.
The union represents 4,000 lecturing and research staff in the colleges and says it now has a mandate for action up to and including a strike.
The ballot result has been announced this evening in the dispute centring on funding and staffing cuts - in what the union calls a third level crisis.
92% of voters backed the strike, with 56% of those eligible turning out.
President Gerry Quinn says the mandate is clear:
Funding to institutes of technology was cut by 35% (€190m) between 2008 and 2015, while student numbers rose by 32% (21,411), while lecturer numbers fell by 9.5% (535).