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Progress made on Croke Park claims Howlin

SIGNIFICANT progress has been made during last-ditch efforts to salvage the Croke Park deal, according to Minister Brendan Howlin.

However, the Public Expenditure Minister, inset, warned that reaching agreement with unions is still a considerable way off.

The Labour politician was speaking before this morning's Cabinet meeting – where ministers were due to weigh up the likelihood of securing the €300m worth of savings in the public sector.

He warned unions that savings have to be made "one way or another".



Head of the Labour Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey, led weekend talks, which resulted in agreements in principle being reached with a number of unions.

Health sector unions are seen as crucial to the talks – with some €150m worth of savings being sought in the health service.

Talks with these unions, which include the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), will resume in two weeks time following an adjournment.

It is understood that nurses have secured a deal which will see them keep their time-and-a-half premium rates.