Moruya and Batemans Bay nurses are urging Eurobodalla Shire residents to write to Upper House MPs to prevent a state government wage freeze for essential services workers.
Sixteen shire nurses protested in Batemans Bay on Tuesday, June 2, after the NSW Government's decision not to grant a previously agreed annual 2.5 per cent wage rise.
Batemans Bay branch secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association Kim Nightingale said passersby backed their cause.
"Everybody bar one was positive and supportive," Ms Nightingale said.
"Some asked us who they could write to and we said write to the Upper House, because that is where it is all happening.
"Nurses were happy to be there and to have a voice, but they are disappointed and angry with the government."
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet offered each worker a $1000 payment in lieu of the wage rise, and said the $3 billion saved from the measure would be reinvested in public projects.
"There are hundreds of thousands of people right across our state today who are either out of work or taking significant pay cuts," Mr Perrottet said.
"They are the people who pay the wages, whose taxes pay the wages, for our public sector."
However, Ms Nightingale said nurses and other emergency services workers had gone above and beyond during the bushfire and COVID-19 crises.
"We are heroes one day and getting an effective pay cut the next," she said.
"No matter what is happening, real nurses keep turning up for work.
"This announcement has shocked and angered local nurses and will create further stress for them.
"Many nurses are the only income earners in their families and now this heartless gesture from our government will add financial stress.
"Many see this action as a wage cut as this money will never be recovered."
She said the freeze would affect superannuation and "create lost earnings for many people for a long time".
"This pandemic has hurt enough and it's not a time to punish public sector workers. They have been a force to keep things going."
Nurses from Wollongong to the Victorian border joined similar protests on the coast.
Paramedics have also rejected the wage freeze.