The President of the Teachers' Union of Ireland has insisted it will not leave the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, despite saying it would not be bound by an aggregate vote on the Croke Park II proposals.

Gerard Craughwell said a "democratic deficit" in how votes are weighted has tied smaller unions into deals that they do not want to be involved in.

However, he said the TUI would work within the congress to achieve its aims.

The TUI, which represents around 14,500 teachers and lecturers in second and third-level education, last night voted overwhelmingly to reject the proposals.

Mr Craughwell said there was nothing in the proposals but misery.

He said: "We are not going again to see our members being dragged into an agreement that simply is not good for our members and not good for education."

The TUI executive is due to meet tomorrow ahead of the union's annual congress next Tuesday, where it will discuss strategies on its next move.

A vote on the Croke Park proposals is due to take place on 17 April and Mr Craughwell said the TUI will be putting forward a "very robust argument that it should be a rejection".

He said the TUI will not leave congress, but the executive has decided that if its members vote No, the union will not engage with any of the proposals that have been put forward.

He said if congress chose to expel the union, "that's another day's work and we'll have to consider that if it happens".

Mr Craughwell also said it was a bit rich of high earners within the public service telling other workers to tighten their belts.

He said: "I have no difficulty in paying through the taxation system my fair share, but when I see people earning tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of euro per annum, I just cannot see the logic in it.

"When I see people earning €3,000 a week telling the rest of us to tighten our belts, I mean that's a bit rich in my opinion."

He said it was time to stop beating the public service and start looking at a redistribution of wealth and a fairer taxation system.