Nursery teachers and support workers as well as colleagues in the youth service and other branches of social work are still fighting for pay justice in Germany. Nurseries all over the country are still closed as the workers continue their strikes, which have been going on since the beginning of last month.

In Hamburg and Frankfurt 30,000 striking workers took to the streets, holding banners with slogans like, 'What are your children worth?' and 'we are looking after what is most valuable - no not money - children!' In the northern state of Schlewsig Holstein, 85 protesters took to the freezing Baltic Sea to draw attention to their struggle.

As one striker commented, nursery work and other social work has traditionally been done by women and for that reason it has been badly paid. This is making it more and more difficult to recruit people into such work. For the strikers though it is about much more than just money, it is also about conditions, but above all about a lack of respect for their profession and the vital and skilled work that they do. 'It's not as though Germany is bankrupt - a lot of money is spent in other areas and so it should be in ours,' said one of the strikers.

Many parents are supporting the nursery workers, and an online petition has attracted over 50,000 signatures. In a recent press release, the federal parent organisation BEKVi the strike saying: 'We parents know nursery workers are not a "Mums' army" Skilled workers in our nurseries are doing great things every day.'

To read more background to the strike go .