Dental Hygienists' Union
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Hello fellow dental hygienists, my name is Erin Birss and I am a registered dental hygienist located in Canada.
It has been reported, from the Occupational Information Network, that dental hygiene is one of the occupations with the highest risk of exposure to disease or infections. With the current Covid-19 pandemic and the unprecedented impact it has had on all of our careers, it has become clearer than ever that dental hygienists are uniquely exposed to many workplace risks and dangers requiring additional measures and protections so we can effectively carry out the duties of our jobs.
As a result of this increased risk of contracting disease and infection I, and likely most of you, am currently not working due to Covid-19. Further, this pandemic will likely, and should, change the way we carry out the duties of our profession to better protect each and every one of us.
The effects and aftermath of this pandemic may result in increased costs and fee guides, as well as decreased access to dental treatment and services across the nation. It will also very likely, change the requirements of what is expected of us in our profession as dental hygienists.
In consideration for our safety and the public’s safety with the expected increase for required personal protective equipment, time required between patients, the added stress we will all endure following this pandemic, the possible exposure to Covid-19 and many other diseases and infections, I feel it is time for dental hygienists to take the next step in advocating for our profession, for our protection, and for our safety moving forward.
As a result of the requirements of our profession, and the daily risks we take, dental hygiene is a profession that would benefit immensely from the assistance and protection that unionization could offer.
Currently in Canada we have over 20,000 registered dental hygienists with dental hygiene being the 6th largest regulated health profession in Canada.
In speaking and listening to some dental hygienists across the country there is without a doubt a generalized consensus that we need to be more united.
Other professions, which already enjoy the support of a union, receive pay protection and well-deserved pay increases, paid sick days, and paid vacation time. Unions also fight for health benefits plans for their members and the members’ dependents, which include massage, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, prescription coverage and more. A union would be able to provide the support, assistance, and protection required for dental hygienists in their daily jobs so we can focus on providing the best care possible for our patients. We are responsible for taking it upon ourselves to work together and to stand together as a united profession to ensure we can put in place the support and protection we need and deserve.
As the 6th largest regulated healthcare profession in the nation and as passionate and hard working professionals, we need a union to keep us united and to fight for our rights and protections in our daily jobs so we can focus on our patients and our own health.
If you agree with me, please sign the petition below which will be sent to the CDHA and to each provincial association.
In light of the world’s Covid-19 pandemic and the closing of dental offices due to the health risks for employees including dental hygienists, it is now time to act to establish a union for dental hygienists.
We are reported as one of the occupations with the highest risk of being ‘Exposed to Disease or Infections’ in accordance with and as evidenced by the Occupational Information Network (0*NET).
In consideration for our safety, and that of the public, with the expected increase for required personal protection equipment, time required between patients, the possible exposure to Covid-19 and other diseases, and ultimately the compounded stress we will endure following this pandemic, I feel it is time for dental hygienists to move forward to advocate for stronger job protection and safety for our profession.
As the 6th largest regulated healthcare profession in the nation we need to be unionized in order to provide the best care for our patients under the safest conditions for all.
As a registered dental hygienist and a member of this profession I am hereby in favor of the creation of a union for dental hygienists to ensure safe practices and protocol, employee health benefits, paid sick and vacation days, and respectable wages with well-deserved pay increases for my colleagues and myself.
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*If you are signing this petition as a member of the public (not a registered dental hygienist), thank you for your support. If you feel comfortable please share your reasons for signing and supporting this movement in the space indicated at the bottom of the petition.
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