The Government has tabled proposals for reducing Sunday premium payments for frontline public servants, despite tonight's rally of workers who pledged to resist any cut in earnings.

Currently the Sunday premium for a nurse working a 12-hour night shift on Sunday ranges from €417 to €604 depending on their point on the scale.

Under the Government proposals, that would fall to between €324 and €470 - which the Government said still constituted a "significant" premium.

The total cost of 24 hours of Sunday cover for a nurse can range between €793 and €1,149.

The new proposals would see this fall to between €603 and €873.

A 12-hour rostered Sunday is currently worth between €458 and €646 for a senior house officer - again depending on the point on the scale.

The latest proposals would reduce this to between €344 and €484.

A specialist registrar doctor currently gets between €712 and €897 for a 12-hour rostered Sunday.

If the unions accepted the management proposals, this would fall to between €534 and €673.

The Government told unions that while it acknowledged the Sunday was an important day, the current cost of delivering services on Sundays and Public Holidays was unsustainable.

It said it was fair and reasonable to cut the Sunday premium from double time to time and a half in the current economic circumstances.

Management said the proposals were fundamental to the overall health reform agenda, adding that Sunday work was an integral part of an individual's working week in the health sector.

It said Sunday can account for up to a third of the total number of hours to be worked in a particular week.

The proposals were tabled at the latest round of negotiations on extending the Croke Park Agreement aimed at cutting an additional €1bn from the public pay bill over the next three years.