LEETON'S nurses and midwives say the state government's wage freeze for the public sector is a kick to the guts for those who have put everything on the line during a global health pandemic.
The NSW government wants to freeze pay rises to include the entire NSW public service and MPs, citing the economic hit brought on by COVID-19 restrictions.
It says the proposed 12-month wage freeze for 410,000 public sector workers is expected to save about $3 billion, which would be reinvested in public projects.
However, the proposal is expected to be shot down in the Upper House this week, with Labor saying it will not support the plan, and Member for Murray Helen Dalton also against the idea.
NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association, Leeton branch president Robyn Whittaker said freezing the wages of workers who have been on the frontline throughout the crisis was unfathomable.
"You think about, nurses, teachers, police, paramedics - they have all be on the frontline trying to keep people safe during COVID-19 and now we're the ones who have to suffer again," she said.
"At a local level, it's devastating for our local economy. That's money all of these people now won't have to spend here in town.
"It's going to affect all of us a lot. We're talking nearly 1000 workers in Leeton who would be affected.
"It's really a kick in the guts for these people. In the long-term they aren't saving money with this because it's not enticing young people into these careers."
On Monday the state government announced public servants may get a one-off $1000 stimulus payment, but the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association described this as an insult.
Association general secretary Brett Holmes said the payment "wasn't an offer or a negotiation in good faith".
"The NSW government is effectively trying to silence 50,000 nurses and midwives with a $1000 payment," he said.
"This is how nurses and midwives are treated for keeping our communities safe and saving lives throughout the COVID-19 pandemic?
"Essentially saying 'sorry about your wage freeze, here's a fraction of what you're owed to keep quiet'."