German judges are seeking a European Union court's advice on whether a teacher at a Greek school in Germany can claim back pay cuts caused by Greece's austerity drive.

The Greek citizen, who worked at a Greek government-backed school in Nuremberg, has claimed compensation of more than 20,000 euros ($22,600) he says he missed out on from 2010-2012 because of cutbacks in Greece.

A key question is whether Greek legislation could be applied to a labor contract in Germany, which has backed public-sector cuts for countries hit by Europe's debt crisis.

Germany's Federal Labor Court on Wednesday considered a Greek government appeal against a lower court ruling that the teacher was entitled to compensation. Judges asked the European Court of Justice to clarify several legal points before making a decision.