Minister Finian McGrath says spending on public services can not be cut to pay for wage demands.
He was speaking ahead of this morning's cabinet meeting, at which Ministers will be briefed on the situation regarding public sector pay.
The government is under increasing pressure from unions to open talks on a new pay deal - just months after the Landsdowne Road Agreement came into effect.
Disability Minister Finian Mc Grath says he won't reduce spending in his department to pay for wage hikes: "I'm not going to take any hits in relation to the services for disabilities, cystic fibrosis or people on trolleys.
"They are my three issues, and they are my key issues, we have to stick with the plan in relation to public services."