Representational Win: Safety Improvements for Dental Assistants at Pelican Bay


Ensuring the workplace safety of our represented employees is an SEIU Local 1000 priority. Recently, the hard-earned rights of Bargaining Unit 20 Dental Assistants working at Pelican Bay State Prison were reaffirmed by our Union after winning arbitration.

Pelican Bay management had issued a directive that dental staff must have the treatment room doors closed when treating inmate patients. The arbitrator found that this was a violation of sections 10.3 (Occupational Hazards) and 10.30 (Health and Safety Grievances) of our contract and presented an immediate health and safety risk.

The dental staff works with sharp instruments and forcing them to work with inmate patients behind heavy, sound-proof doors without the presence of correctional officers created an unsafe work environment.

CCHCS has been ordered to rescind the directive and ensure dental staff is allowed to prop the door open or have a correctional officer assigned to the room to provide security. 

This win mirrors an earlier representational win for nursing staff working at Pelican Bay requiring the same type of protection for our members. Congratulations to Teal Miller of SEIU Local 1000’s legal team for the win!

If you have a question about health and safety in your workplace, contact your Local 1000 Job Steward or call the Union’s Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).