The State Services Minister has told secondary school teachers that their claim for a 4% wage rise is way out of line.
Tony Ryall says that the Government continues to expect wage restraint and that all departments have to consult with the State Services Commission before reaching a deal on any increase. As well, any increases must come from within existing budgets.
Mr Ryall says recent statistics confirm that the call for restraint is being heeded, with public service pay increases lower than those for the private sector over the past 15 months.
But, he says, some groups in the wider public sector are not being realistic, making claims out of line with what's happening.
He compares the teachers' claim with what's happening in Ireland, where public service salaries are being cut by 15%, or Spain, which has just announced a cut of 5% in public sector pay rates.