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More hours, same pay?

My office is extending hygiene appointments for COVID reasons when we start back. Typically we work 7:30-4:30 but hygienists get there around 6:40 & leave around 5:15, we are only paid a flat day rate no matter how early or late we have to stay.
My concern is our new hours will be 7am-7pm, still seeing 8 patients but due to extended time we will putting in more hours at the SAME rate. We will continue our pay like we were working 7:30-4:30 but actually work 7am-7pm.
The hygienists brought this up to our office manager & she basically told us it is what it is. They expect us all to step in & help because of the financial strain.

It makes me feel extremely unappreciated & overworked already. Any tips on how to bring up our concerns again?

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1 Answer

This is a tough situation. If you have an employee handbook, what does it say about pay rate? Does it mention that if hours are increased, an increase in pay can be negotiated? If it doesn’t, you might be stuck because you agreed to a flat pay rate per day, even though feeling unappreciated and overworked is valid, in my opinion.
With this said, perhaps its a good idea to discuss this with your boss – the dentist or dentists that own the practice. It would be best if all hygienists sat down with the boss or bosses and expressed their concerns.
I would suggest “sandwiching” the conversation. Begin with how nice things, like how you like the office, etc. Then bring up your concerns without sounding like you are complaining, but more like you are concerned, feel unappreciated, and overworked.
At the end of the conversation, I would suggest closing on another positive note. Something like, “you have been generous and great to work for…” or something like this.
Again, this is a tough one and I’m sorry you are dealing with this. Its especially hard when business owners take out their responsibilities of being a business owner on their employees. Best of luck!

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