Public Sector unions say they want a flat rate pay increase to form part of a collective agreement on pay.
They are meeting with officials from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to start talks on pay.
The Government has set June 30 as a deadline for reaching an agreement.
It is the first step in a long road of negotiations, and today, officials from the Department of Public Expenditure laid their cards on the table.
A representative said it was important that unions were "realistic" about how much money is available.
Niall Shanahan from Impact said the unions want a collective agreement, and they favour a flat rate pay increase.
However, General Secretary of the CPSU - which represents lower paid civil servants - Eoin Ronayne was clear that a small percentage rise would not be enough for his members.
The trade unions will hear a financial statement on Thursday, and the talks are expected to start properly next week.