The CADA is legislated by the AB government to protect the public, ensure that their licensed RDAs are competent and to discipline RDAs as needed. Under the HPA they are not there to protect you or advocate for you as an RDA. It is not their role to provide membership benefits, services or support. These are roles that the CADA is unable to undertake as it is a conflict to their role of public protection.
The professional associations are there for you, the RDA, to protect your interests and to advocate for you. Most recently the Association of Alberta Dental Assistants, of which you are a member by virtue of your Local Calgary association membership, is the organization that represents the interests of the RDA in provincial issues such as WCB, Occupational Health and Safety, the Health Professions Act and any other legislation that will pertain to and impact on the profession.
Most recently the AADA has met with the senior staff for the Minister of Health to ensure that the Alberta Dental Fee Guide reductions do not impact the wages and employment of RDAs. As the least paid and most vulnerable of the dental health professions we need to ensure that government is aware of how their actions and those of the ADA&C will affect our profession of mainly women working under employers who are mainly men. Your local association, Calgary, ensures that there are funds available to the AADA to do the work for us that needs to be done provincially. Without that representation we could lose our credibility as professionals and have no legitimate voice to take our concerns to government. This is an important intangible benefit that our professional associations give us. All RDAs will benefit from the work that we do, although under current legislation we cannot compel membership. This puts our profession at a disadvantage when the CADA has such a strong financial base to work from and the organizations that work for us as RDAs have few funds to work with. If all RDAs do not support their professional associations at all 3 levels we do ourselves a diservice. The information sheets that come with the renewal form on the Calgary website provide a range of support, benefits and services that you may at some time want to access. Without support now, these organizations will not be there for us when we need them.
The wages and credibility that our profession currently holds within our province and nationally, through the Canadian Dental Assistants Association, are only here for us today thanks to the many dedicated and strong women who have volunteered their time and talents through the professional associations to bring us self-regulation and the highest wages in North America, which we believe are fair compensation for the level of skills and knowledge that RDAs bring to the dental practice. Our worth to the dental practice is estimated to be 35% of the daily billings plus any additional billings the practice receives from independent treatment and procedures we perform. These are just some of the points that we have made and will continue to make to the ADA&C, government and other health related professions when there are issues arising that will impact us negatively.
This weekend the associations will be posting on their Facebook pages about the new dental fee guide for 2018 and asking RDAs to let them know if they find themselves being cut back in hours, wages or any other negative impact to their employment. With this data the Association of Alberta Dental Assistants can go to government and advocate for protection. Without the associations we are at the mercy of the employers and government.
We hope this has been of some value to you in helping you to decide upon your continuing support for your own professional future and career through supporting your associations. If we don’t support the organizations who will work for and represent our interests, who will do that for us?