THEY'RE DOING IT IN BRITAIN:
Ministers are due to meet civil service union officials to discuss possible changes to redundancy terms, as they try to reduce costs of cutting staff.
Treasury figures suggest 600,000 public sector jobs could go over the next five years, as the coalition tries to slash the country's record budget deficit.
But last month, the government lost a court battle over attempts, started by Labour, to reduce redundancy payments.
Unions fear ministers plan emergency legislation to reverse the ruling.
The Cabinet Office has confirmed that ministers intend to press on with reform of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS).
"As outlined in the coalition agreement, we are looking at ways to reform the CSCS to bring it more into line with good practice in the private sector," a spokesman said.
"Our intention would always be to seek to reach a negotiated agreement, which would include protection for lower paid civil servants."'No status quo'
BBC political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue said the CSCS had in the past resulted in some payouts equivalent to six years' salary.
If agreement on reform could not be reached, ministers would have to amend the 1972 Superannuation Act which established the redundancy rules.
"Unions say letters have already gone to heads of human resources telling them they shouldn't assume the status quo will last for more than the next couple of months, suggesting change could be forced through," our correspondent added.
It emerged at the weekend that Chancellor George Osborne had ordered most government departments to draw up plans for budget cuts of up to 40%, as they prepare for October's spending review.
WE NEED ORE OF THAT HERE - IN EVERY STATE AND IN OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.