The union representing lower paid civil servants has said the restoration of pay cuts should be done through flat rate rather than percentage increases, which discriminate in favour of higher-paid workers.

The Civil Public and Services Union, which represents 14,000 lower grade civil servants, is also seeking the removal of the pension levy, 2010 pay cuts and productivity reforms including unpaid additional hours.

General secretary Eoin Ronayne said there should also be Budget changes to realign the Universal Social Charge for the lower paid.

He said that any sense of morality would dictate that lower paid workers should fare best from the restoration of pay and conditions.

Talks between the Government and public sector unions on pay restoration are due to get underway after Easter - but the Government has already warned that any changes will be incremental.

A survey of over 3,000 of the CPSU's public serivce members found that the average wage of members was €35,000 a year, with 7% receiving social protection payments like Family Income Supplement.

Over two thirds of members (68%) were aged over 40. 

Almost two thirds of respondents have mortgages, though 16% are in mortgage arrears.

Meanwhile the majority - 84% - were prepared to take industrial action with other unions in pursuit of restoration pay and conditions.