TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has ruled out a reduction in the Government's demand for €1bn in cuts from public servants' incomes, saying there can be "no easing back".
On the back of the bank debt deal resulting in the cuts in coming Budgets being reduced by €1bn, unions are expected to call for a smaller reduction target at talks on a new Croke Park deal.
Mr Kenny's warning came as up to 100,000 people are expected to take part today in a rally organised by unions to press EU leaders for a better deal on the €64bn bank debt. Protests will take place in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Sligo from 1.30pm.
Mr Kenny said there can be "no sense of complacency or easing back".
He said Public Spending Minister Brendan Howlin had his orders and did not indicate there would be any change.
"We have set our path for the deficit to be below 3pc by 2015 and that means the Government mandated Minister Howlin to go and negotiate a new Croke Park deal with the unions," he said.
"These discussions are at a delicate stage and obviously we would like to see them concluded, if that's possible, before the end of February.
"Clearly there are challenges there, and I think people understand that.
"I don't want to comment further on the nature of the discussions he is having there now.
"But there can be no sense of complacency or easing back on the situation that faces us here.
"Minister Noonan has made that perfectly clear."
Sources said unions are likely to seek a reduction in the €1bn cuts being sought over the next three years in the wake of the €20bn bank debt boost.
The general secretary of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, Sheila Nunan, said public services would need to "see some benefit" from the bank deal on the Anglo promissory note.
However, Ms Nunan, who represents 32,000 primary school teachers, would not say what kind of benefit they would be looking for.
The savings being sought from public servants that are still to be negotiated are believed to total in the region of €800m over three years.
The remainder is expected to be delivered by a voluntary redundancy scheme.
Eoin Ronayne, the general secretary of the Civil Public and Services Union, said it had not even accepted the €1bn target, so the question of seeking a reduction did not arise.
Mr Ronayne, who represents 13,000 lower-paid civil servants, said they did not believe they should be asked to cut anything.
"We're not committed to making any saving," he said.
"The latest development suggesting there is a better cash flow makes it even harder to present anything to members that represents a cut."
The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (ASGI) will take to the streets of Dublin tomorrow, joining the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) anti-austerity march.
AGSI said the march would provide an opportunity for members to voice their anger and deep concern about proposed cuts to pay and allowances emerging from the Croke Park extension talks.
General secretary John Redmond said: "We have had extensive communications from members sharing their stories of how the cuts have already affected them and the level of fear in our association is palpable."