LEETON'S nurses say they continue to feel left out in the cold by the state government and its cuts to public sector wages.
In the state's latest budget, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet confirmed all public sector wage increases would be capped at 1.5 per cent over four years.
According to the government, these cuts to public sector wages will help to stimulate the NSW economy amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) said public sector nurses and midwives who received a 2.5 per cent wage increase in previous years, have had their wages frozen at 0.3 per cent this year, and now face the prospect of never seeing their wages rise by more than 1.5 per cent.
We all need to think very carefully (about) who we vote for in the next election.Leeton branch secretary Leeanne Driscoll
The association's Leeton branch secretary Leeanne Driscoll said it was a further hit to workers on the frontline.
"I am really disappointed with the wage freeze," she said.
"Frontline workers like nurses kept the economy going during COVID.
"Not giving them their designated (pay) rise won't encourage them to spend, which is what this government wants.
"We all need to think very carefully (about) who we vote for in the next election."
Attracting new nurses to the profession, as well as to rural and regional areas continues to be an uphill battle and the association said capping wages would offer little incentive.
NSWNMA general secretary Brett Holmes said the impact of this wage freeze on local communities, particularly in rural and regional areas, would be "enormous".
"The new 1.5 per cent cap will lock NSW into a low wages-growth economy for the next four years," Mr Holmes said.
"This low wages outlook for public sector workers will also hurt private sector employees, whose wages are often influenced by the public sector."