SIPTU members in Cork County Council will commence ballots for industrial action and strike action next Monday.
According to the union, the dispute related to "the refusal of management to engage with the workforce planning process and recruit more staff to adequately delivery statutory services".
SIPTU Organiser, Con Casey, said: "Over many months there has been no progress at all in management moving to engage with the workforce planning process and start employing more staff.
"We now have a situation where key sections of the council which deal with road maintenance, housing and many other essential services are now seriously understaffed.
"This is due to management failing to replace workers as they retire.
"The running down of the ability of the council to adequately provide services for the largest local authority area in terms of land mass and coastline in the country would unfortunately seem to be part of an agenda to increase the outsourcing of work to private for profit companies."
He added: "This move towards outsourcing by Cork County Council management is being pursued in contravention to national agreements.
"These agreements assert that the high standards of council services should be preserved by maintaining their delivery by directly employed council staff."
The ballot is scheduled to be counted in Connolly Hall, Cork City on Friday, February 17.