In January JP told staff to expect a series of cutbacks across its business, with the union claiming up to 100 jobs could be lost across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
At the time, the BBC reported that 13 of the jobs under threat were in Northern Ireland, although there has been no confirmation of this by the company.
The restructure has also been met with opposition from the union in Scotland, with members of the NUJ’s Scotsman and Central Scotland threatening to strike over the potential loss of 32 jobs there.
The NUJ is making no official comment on the ballot plan, but an announcement sent to NUJ members at JP’s Northern Irish titles, which has been seen by HTFP, reveals ballot papers will be despatched on Wednesday, with members told to return them by 21 March.
The same announcement reports union membership is at a “record high” across the group.
It states: “All of us are aware of the issues and what we are fighting for in terms of VR based on three weeks pay per year of service, for threats to job cuts to be lifted until such time that we have an agreement of staffing levels, for pay that rewards work and provides salary progression in the absence of promotional opportunities.
“You all know how management have responded on these issues and how they continue to frustrate efforts to conduct meaningful negotiations.”
A Johnston Press spokeswoman said: “We are surprised and disappointed by this intended course of action.
“The management team in Northern Ireland have been working hard to put together a set of proposals about how to manage changes to the newsroom and have taken on board comments and feedback on salary and career structures.
“We have yet to discuss those proposals with the NUJ and had set a date for that to happen. We will be doing so next week and hope we can work with staff and the NUJ to avoid the threatened industrial action.”
The company has previously said that the union’s claims of 100 job cuts are a “worst-case scenario.”