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The Labour Relations Commission issued earlier proposals to the parties in February 2013 and those proposals were not accepted by the Trade Union side. At the behest of Government the Chief Executive of the Commission and the Director and Deputy Director of the Commission's Conciliation Service then met with all of the Trade Unions and Associations representing staff in the Public Service in order to assess the potential that might exist for further engagement in an effort to find an agreed way forward. The Commission was made aware that Government's intention to secure the identified level of payroll and pension savings remained and that if necessary the Government would legislate to achieve those savings. The Government also emphasised to the Commission its preference for a collective agreement as the means to secure the identified level of savings and its commitment to engage fully in any process the Commission would put in place to attempt to achieve an agreement.

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