Public sector unions are being warned of the need for "realism" as talks on pay in the sector get underway.
The message has come from the Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin, as he prepares to enter negotiations today.
A number of business lobby groups have said it is too soon for the Government to look at increasing public sector pay.
ISME warned the outcome of talks that happen just months from an election could be seen as a return to auction politics.
However writing in the Irish Independent today, Minister Brendan Howlin said he expected all sides will meet with the aim of reaching a deal that is "fair to all involved" - those who work in the sector and those who avail of public services.
He is warning of the need for "realism", and that the level of pay restoration won't be "as much as some might wish".
Today's session is expected to examine a roadmap for the process that could take several months.