Public sector union delegates were given a briefing on the fiscal situation of the country ahead of the commencement of face to face pay negotiations next week. 

Officials from the Department of Public Expenditure gave the briefing.

Afterwards some delegates described the hour-long session as an attempt to lower public sector workers’ expectations.

John Redmond of the AGSI said the session was about dampening down expectations.

Dave Hughes of the INNMO said it was an attempt to try to box unions into a corner.

Others described the session as a simple backgrounder on the fiscal situation.

The pay talks proper will get under way next Tuesday at 2.30pm in Lansdowne House.

The talks will take place under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission and union delegates expect they will last at least two weeks.