Nurses and midwives gathered - while managing to strictly adhere to social distancing - out front of Maitland Hospital on Tuesday to protest the State Government's public sector wage freeze.
An estimated crowd of about 30, gathered out front of the hospital at 1.30pm for an hour to voice their frustration. Maitland was one of more than 60 NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association branches across the state to take part in the action, with John Hunter, Waratah and Muswellbrook also participating.
In an unusual sight due to social distancing requirement, the nurses and midwives were restricted to 10 people protesting at a time - so when one group had done their 'shift', they did a virtual tag team to the next group. That meant the protest included three shifts.
"It wasn't your regular protest out front of a hospital, that's for sure," Nurses and Midwives organiser Emily Suvaal admitted.
We believe it's a pretty disgraceful act to now hit them with a wage freeze
But there was clearly no lack of feeling.
"We felt it important that we let Premier Gladys Berejiklian know what we think of her decision to freeze wages," Ms Suvaal said.
"It's really poor form. We're talking people here who have been turning themselves inside out, who've been really flexible, doing whatever they've had to to try to protect the community amid the pandemic.
"These people have gone above and beyond, and we believe it's a pretty disgraceful act to now hit them with a wage freeze."
The voluntary action by nurses and midwives comes on the back of earlier industrial action by paramedics.
They expressed their feelings statewide by refusing to bill patients on Monday.
"Due to the restrictive Public Sector Wages policy, we have not seen a real increase in our wages for ten years," Australian Paramedics Association (NSW) President Chris Kastelan said.
"Now, while countries across the world are looking after their health care workers, the NSW Premier is giving us a gut punch."
In announcing the decision to freeze public sector wages last week - a move that the Premier estimates will save the state $3 billion - she said the move would mean no job losses.
The State Government has since added a one-off $1000 sweetener, but that has been portrayed in some circles as a bribe.
Ms Berejiklian has urged nurses to take the $1000 or see job losses.
But Ms Suvaal isn't swayed.
"The best way to build an economy is to increase wages, not cut them," she said. "People will spend that money, the economy will benefit, jobs will be created."
The nurses and midwives, whose enterprise agreement expires this year, were negotiating for a wage increase of 2.5 per cent across the board.