Public sector staff are to likely to get additional money next year after the Government agreed to hold talks with unions to address “anomalies” in pay.
The issue arose following a Labour Court recommendation which will see gardaí receive about €4,000 in increased remuneration next year.
The 300,000 State employees could also see further pay hikes in 2018 as part of a separate deal with the Government to replace the existing Lansdowne Road accord.
Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said the talks on dealing with the "anomalies" arising from the €50 million pay deal for gardaí should be completed by the end of January.
One option that had been discussed in preliminary talks with unions was bringing forward the payment of a €1,000 increase due next September by a number of months. Political sources said yesterday this was one of a number of options available.
Separate negotiations on a new overall public service pay deal will begin after the Public Service Pay Commission reports, probably after Easter.
Siptu has deferred plans to ballot its 60,000 members in the public service for industrial action over pay after the new talks offer.
The Government's new two-stage talks plan was also welcomed by the public service committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
The Civil Public and Services Union, which represents lower-paid civil servants, said "tangible benefits must flow from the January discussions through not only an acceleration of the Lansdowne Road payment due in September next but also progress on the restoration of unpaid hours, removal of lower entry pay points and the restoration of pay cuts for those below €50,000 a year".
Meanwhile, in a submission to the new Public Service Pay Commission, unions said it was their declared intention to seek “to have all disimprovements in remuneration rolled back as quickly as possible”.