Friday, February 01, 2019

Community health centre dentists set to take unprecedented 24-hour stop-work action

Public sector dentists working at 10 community health agencies across Victoria will walk off the job for a 24-hour stop-work on Monday 4 February as they continue their attempts to negotiate a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) with their employers.

More than two thirds of dentists and dental specialists working across the public sector have now signed on to the new agreement, leaving these agencies in the minority. The current agreement
expired more than 18 months ago, and the dentists at these sites are frustrated with the lack of progress in the negotiations.

The strong advocacy efforts of the Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch (ADAVB) and Professionals Australia have ensured that there was a funding guarantee from the Department of
Health and Human Services over the lifetime of the agreement to cover the cost of the new EBA.
Despite this funding guarantee, twelve community health agencies refuse to commit to the new

“ADAVB is concerned that a failure to reach an agreement at these agencies will impact on the
ability to recruit and retain experienced clinicians, leading in turn to ballooning waiting lists and poor
health outcomes for patients,” said ADAVB President Dr Kevin Morris.

“Some of the community health centres that are refusing to sign-on to the agreement have some of
the longest waiting times for general dental care in the state, including Merri Health with a 33
month wait, IPC Health with a 27.8 month wait and cohealth with a 23.3 month wait. The average
waiting time in Victoria is currently 20.7 months.”

Eligible dentists will be participating in the 24-hour stop-work on Monday 4 February. Colleagues, families and friends are encouraged to support our community health dentists by attending a public rally to be held on the same day on the steps of Parliament House from 12-1pm. General public and media representatives are also welcome to attend.

View media release

4 Feb 2019 update
Information correct at time of publishing. 
cohealth have now signed the agreement and will not be participating in the 24-hour strike action.