Even Union Dentists Are Hitting The Picket Line
(MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OREGON) - A group of Union-represented Dentists in Oregon recently hit the picket line on their lunch hour to let the public know they want a fair contract.
Last Spring, 28 Dentists employed at seven Multnomah County clinics voted to join Oregon American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) after the county increased their patient load by 20% in 2017 - to about 22 patients a day - without giving them any say in the matter, or any increase in compensation.
Union and management have been negotiating since late August, but they’ve had a hard time reaching agreement on a first contract.
Pay is a key sticking point.
Oregon AFSCME Rep Eben Pullman says Dentists working at Multnomah County Health Department are underpaid compared to other Dentists locally.
The job requires a Doctoral Degree in Dental Medicine or Dental Surgery, but their starting pay is just over $100,000, and annual pay tops out at $161,000, compared to top pay of $220,000 for Dentists at the Veterans Administration (VA), $193,000 in the State Corrections System, $175,000 at the non-profit Virginia Garcia Clinic Network, and $170,000 for Dentists at Clackamas County.
Dentists also want a standard Union Grievance and Arbitration Process so Dentists can defend themselves in cases of discipline.
Instead, county managers want to create a kind of disciplinary panel made up of Dentists, a proposal the Union thinks could be unworkable.
In mid-February, a delegation presented a petition to Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury signed by a majority of the Dentists and explained their position to her directly.
The two sides are scheduled meet to bargain this week.
To Directly Access This Labor News Story, Go To: https://nwlaborpress.org/2019/03/a-picket-line-of-union-dentists/