The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has warned that it will pull out of the Croke Park talks if the Government does not drop what it described as its high-handed dictatorial agenda to cut pay.

General Secretary Liam Doran said his mandate is to remain in the talks to await further clarification from management as to their proposals to remove an additional €1bn from the public sector pay bill.

However, he said the INMO executive would meet at short notice if required if the management agenda remained unchanged.

At that point, he said, the decision they would make would be self evident and they would pull out of the talks.

Mr Doran said they would take every action necessary to protect all elements of their members' pay - including core salary, allowances and other premium payments.

The INMO will join other unions representing front line public servants including prison officers, gardaí and firemen tomorrow to formulate a collective approach to the Croke Park process.

The largest public sector union, IMPACT, has warned its members that the Government will not sign up to a new deal protecting them from cuts in core pay or compulsory redundancies without an element of additional working hours.

The Labour Relations Commission faces a major challenge to meet the Government's deadline of a deal by the end of February.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors as well as the Garda Representative Association have already refused to engage in the negotiations aimed at securing an additional €1bn cut in the public sector pay bill.

GRA President John Parker said pay cuts and changes in the terms and conditions of its members would be met with some form of industrial action.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Parker said that such changes would breach the terms of the Croke Park Agreement, and would negate the protection offered under the agreement against industrial action.

In the case of Croke Park expiring, Mr Parker said the protections contained within the agreement would similarly expire.

Mr Parker said morale in the force was at an all-time low, and that this was reflected in the murmurs about a blue flu coming from rank and file gardaí.

However, Mr Parker said it would be up to the GRA's central executive committee to decide the association's position in relation to any form of industrial action.

SIPTU issues warning over pay talks

SIPTU has warned its public service members that Government negotiators are prepared to unilaterally implement cuts in pay and pensions and review their position on the Croke Park Agreement if a negotiated settlement is not reached.

Union negotiators Patricia King, Paul Bell and Gene Mealy say the Government has indicated that its preferred option is to achieve an additional €1bn in payroll savings by negotiation.

However, they also say that, in the event of failure, the Government would be prepared to unilaterally implement cuts, and review their position in relation to the Croke Park Agreement.

They say the management agenda outlines initial areas targeted for savings, including increased working hours, "downward adjustments" of overtime and premium payments, outsourcing of work, and revised re-deployment and exit arrangements.

However, the SIPTU representatives have told the employer side that the burden must not fall disproportionately on any one grade or group.

It also stressed that those at the higher end of the salary structure should contribute most.

They tell members that their position on any proposal that may emerge will be informed by fairness and equity.

The SIPTU officials conclude by noting that the negotiations will be "very challenging".

They stress that no agreement has been reached on any matter tabled by management, adding that it is by no means clear at this stage that any agreement can be reached.