STRIKE action by teaching assistants was suspended yesterday after Durham Council withdrew a threat to sack them and impose new contracts.
The council wants to introduce term-time-only pay contracts on 2,700 teaching assistants, amounting to a 23 per cent pay cut for most workers.
The assistants, who are members of public service union Unison and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, responded with a strike and a work to rule and won widespread support from the public.
They were due to walk out tomorrow but negotiations will now take place.
Unison northern regional secretary Clare Williams said: “Disputes are only ever solved through negotiation.
“At last there can be proper talks without the threat of huge pay cuts hanging over teaching assistants’ heads.
“Everyone is hoping that councillors now act in good faith, abandon their pay cut plans once and for all and show how much they value their brilliant teaching assistants.”