The highest ranking and paid civil and public servants are being advised to vote against the one billion euro state pay deal, it has been revealed.
As trade union chiefs at Siptu announced pay cuts among its biggest earners, the 2,700 members of the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants (AHCPS) were urged to vote No to cuts.
The executive's rebel stance made it the first union to remain in negotiations and then to publicly oppose the deal.
General secretary Dave Thomas said the decision to recommend a No vote was not taken lightly.
"AHCPS members have already suffered pay reductions of between 15% and 17% before tax and USC (universal social charge) increases are taken into account, in addition to extra working hours," he claimed.
"In addition, these proposals raise legitimate questions as to the actual value that the Government currently places on the work carried out by civil and public servants."
The pay cuts will be put to the vote in the AHCPS and other unions, the results of which are expected to be known in mid-April.
The largest salary reductions will apply to those being paid the most and a top public servant on 200,000 euro would see their pay cut to 185,350 euro.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted the staggered wage reductions, above a 65,000 euro salary, are fair and proportionate.
As unions inspected the small print of the long-awaited agreement, Mr Kenny said there was no acceptable alternative to the one billion euro pay deal - designed to replace the Croke Park agreement and running for three years from July.