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Our Movement

 
 

We are a community that cares. We are therapists, case managers, peers, support staff and allies, all motivated by a shared mission to help our clients heal.

Addressing Oregon’s mental and behavioral health crisis means supporting the behavioral health workers who are critical to the health and well-being of our communities. But with growing caseloads, stagnant pay and poor outcomes for our clients, one thing is clear: the behavioral health industry isn’t going to change unless care providers stand up and fight for better care.

We’re coming together as a movement to form a union so we can change our working conditions and provide the best possible care for our clients.

 
 

The Union Difference

Fair wages and benefits: Union members are more likely to have higher wages, paid sick days, affordable health insurance and retirement benefits. For most union members, their union job means they can afford stable housing and provide for their kids.

A stronger workforce: Union membership is associated with higher productivity, lower employee turnover, improved workplace communication and a better-trained workforce.

Equity and empowerment: Unions have made a difference in helping to close the wage gap over the last 40 years. By giving workers a united voice, women and people of color who are union members make higher wages and have more job security than their nonunion counterparts.

We aspire to a system that is more than just a revolving door: one that treats clients with respect and dignity, puts people’s needs ahead of billing targets, and creates real pathways to recovery and lifelong health.

 

Median hourly wage for mental health and substance abuse social workers

 

Median hourly wage for registered nurses

 

We aspire to a system that puts healing first—and we’re working toward concrete solutions to raise the standards of care.

Join Us

 

“I have immense hopes for this union: realistic working conditions, respect for people working in this field, an end to the idea that working in community mental health means being a martyr. With better working conditions, we’ll be able to provide better care for our clients and ultimately demonstrate to them that their health is valued.”

— L Pearson, Portland therapist