TEACHER members of the National Education Union (NEU) have formally ended strike action at Poole's Victoria Education Centre.

Members of the NEU and other unions had taken eight days strike action in a dispute over changes to their contracts, in particular changes to sick pay and maternity pay which they argued no longer matched national terms and conditions most teachers across the country enjoy.

However, following latest talks with employer Livability, which runs the special school at Lindsay Road, further strike action has been ended.

NEU senior regional officer Ian McCann said: "Our members were committed and determined to be recognised as the hardworking professionals they are and to be placed on the national terms and conditions.

"Their contracts were eroded by the employer with no reasonable justification, and this is unacceptable.

"The employer (Livability) has now taken the steps needed to put right their previous decision.

"This shows what can be achieved at NEU organised workplaces."

Livability chief executive officer Sally Chivers said: "In the interest of the children and in order to focus on the future of the school, the executive team and board of trustees have carefully considered the concerns giving rise to the industrial action.  

"We recognise the importance of engaging with staff in a clear and transparent way and are committed to giving priority to the children we support and the school's future.

"As a result, teachers have been advised their employment terms will mirror The School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document and the conditions of service for teachers, known as the Burgundy Book.

"Teachers have returned to the classroom and our focus remains on teaching and learning; Livability does not have a collective agreement with the teacher's trade unions."