Illawarra nurses and midwifes are set to rally on Thursday in opposition to the state government's wage pause for all public sector workers.
NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) said members "felt rejected and undervalued" by the Berejiklian government's "insulting" offer to increase wages by 0.3 per cent, despite previously promising 2.5 per cent.
Union members will gather outside Shellharbour Hospital to voice their "extreme disappointment in the decision".
"We were just gobsmacked," NSWNMA Shellharbour Hospital Branch Secretary Amanda Wells said.
"After supporting our community through one of the toughest years, it's still shocking to find out how little the Berejiklian government values our contribution.
"It's incredibly frustrating and has left a bitter taste in our mouths.
"The 0.3 per cent wage freeze isn't just going to impact public sector workers. Our whole community is already struggling with the economic impacts from COVID-19 and this wage freeze will only inflict more harm."
The Berejiklian government had sought to freeze pay rises in order to guarantee jobs for public servants amid the COVID-19 pandemic and to free up funds for job-creation projects.
Earlier this month, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission found public servants were entitled to maintain the real value of their earnings as is consistent with the government wages policy and a pay freeze would see a 0.3 per cent reduction in the real value of their earnings.
The wage policy was opposed by unions and frontline workers, including paramedics, nurses, police officers and teachers, who had been seeking to get their 2.5 per cent annual pay rise.
Nurses will gather at Benson Basin, on the corner of Wattle Rd and Lake Entrance Drive, opposite Shellharbour Hospital, at 12.30pm.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.