Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says he is seeking to reopen collective agreements in the public sector and reduce salaries.

Pallister says he wants to develop a plan in co-operation with union leaders to cut the deficit, and will be consulting union leaders in the coming weeks.

But Pallister has also said legislation is being prepared for the spring to control public spending and wages.

Some of the province's major unions have recently signed contracts that include salary increases through to 2018.

The Manitoba Government and General Employees Union says reopening collective agreements is unconstitutional and unfair.

David Camfield, who teaches labour studies at the University of Manitoba, says Pallister may be legally allowed to impose wage restraint if he shows he tried to negotiate it first.