Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has signalled it will be “very difficult” to get a deal over the line with all unions on the public pay bill by Monday.
Ahead of the cut-off point in talks between negotiator Kieran Mulvey and workers’ groups, Mr Howlin said unions which had refused to bargain to date were unlikely to buy into any new deal on the €300m needed in savings.
His comments came as efforts by unions and management were underway yesterday behind doors to secure alternative proposals for savings in the health sector.
Mr Mulvey is expected to report to Mr Howlin by Monday before ministers make a decision on Tuesday.
Mr Mulvey and unions were this week given more time to negotiate, but the Government has indicated it is determined to drive ahead with the reductions, which must begin in July.
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