Strikes arranged by public workers’ union Verdi and Science Workers’ Union (GEW) have been plaguing states across the country since May, forcing parents to find alternative care for their children when their day care centres, or Kitas, shut down.
Friday’s round of strikes in the state of Baden-Württemberg affected 180 child care facilities as the unions pressure employers to improve health care options and increase wages for some 220,000 educators and social workers.
A new round of negotiations began in Frankfurt on Thursday after almost a month-long hiatus. Neither side has ruled out extending talks through the weekend.
On Thursday Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen urged a speedy solution to the labour dispute, saying parents can’t handle any more strikes.
Von der Leyen, a mother of seven, said that the workers are right to demand changes to contract rules that haven’t been changed in 18 years.
“Only sales clerks earn worse,” she told the paper, urging both sides to find a solution.