'Dysfunctional and convoluted' – profession slams government approach to payThe dental profession has criticised the government for its ‘despicable’ treatment after failing to introduce a proposed rate for additional hours.

The British Dental Association (BDA) has written to Mr Robin Swann, the minister of health for Northern Ireland, slamming the government for its treatment of CDS.

Last month, the government passed a temporary regional rate for additional hours. The rate stands at 1.33, bypassing the BDA’s proposal of 1.6.

Significantly damaged

‘In consequence, the goodwill of the CDS service has been decimated after delivering care,’ the letter reads.

‘This is without knowledge of what or when staff might be paid for additional non-contracted hours worked, over the past 9 months during a pandemic.

‘They have been treated despicably. Morale has been significantly damaged over an issue which should have been resolved much more adequately, and much more sooner.’

‘Faceless bureaucrats’

It argues that the appetite for undertaking additional working hours has consequently ‘evaporated’.

In addition, the association states that the withdrawal of CDS from UDC involvement is a ‘direct response to the wholly unsatisfactory process regarding the enhanced rate that has ensued’.

As a result, it is urging the Mr Swann to consider how similar circumstances can be avoided in the future.

The letter adds: ‘More timely and adequate ways of addressing pay issues are absolutely essential. It must never fall on faceless bureaucrats to issue unilateral settlements on staff that shows little respect to the CDS.’

You can read the full letter here.