Media Statement: Historic Wage Justice Win for Dental Clinic Assistants
Today marks a historic occasion for Dental Clinic Assistants (DCAs), after winning a ten-year battle for wage justice.
DCAs, an overwhelmingly female occupational group, were some of the last Level 1 salary workers left in the public sector, a classification which did not reflect the important and skilled work they do.
The Department of Health this week agreed to reclassify DCAs to Level 2 in response to campaigning and a formal application lodged in 2017 by the Union for public Dental Health Services workers, the Community & Public Sector Union/ Civil Service Association of WA (CPSU/CSA).
Recent campaign actions undertaken by union members to secure this outcome included sending over 700 faxes to the Minister for Health, engaging via social media and voting to undertake ‘Work to Rule’ industrial action, that would significantly impacted productivity at clinics.
Dental Clinic Assistants provide clinical assistance to dentists and dental therapists during procedures and play a crucial role in preventing patient infection, working with hazardous chemicals, and preparing for surgery and sterilization procedures.
They maintain patient records, provide administration and dental health education, advice and information for patients.
Rikki Hendon, CPSU/CSA Assistant Secretary says this is a great win for members.
“This fantastic outcome is the result of more than a decade of persistent campaigning for wage justice by our Union and its members in Dental Health Services.
“It rights a historical wrong for a long undervalued and overwhelmingly female workforce.
“Dental Clinic Assistants undertake important, skilled clinical work and it is great to see them finally get the recognition they deserve.
“This reclassification will improve the lives of hundreds of women in our public Dental Health Services and will help close the gender pay gap in the public sector,” she said.
Discussions regarding the implementation of this decision are continuing between the Union and the Department of Health.