Lines For Life Workers Overwhelmingly Vote To Join Oregon AFSCME

PORTLAND, OR - Over the last few weeks, employees at Lines for Life, a 24-hour crisis line non-profit based in Portland, voted by an overwhelming majority to join Oregon AFSCME.

Lines For Life operates several behavioral health crisis and support helplines throughout the state of Oregon and nationally, with services including the Suicide Lifeline, Alcohol & Drug Helpline, Racial Equity Support Line, Military Helpline, Senior Loneliness Line, and Youthline. The union-eligible group includes Crisis Intervention Specialists, Youthline staff, Counselors, Leads, as well as administrative and support staff. 

"I am so proud of all the work my coworkers and the community we’ve built have done to get here, and I am very excited for the next steps at the bargaining table. Our hope is to continue this work to make sure every worker's voice is heard and represented in the crafting of our contract” said Becca Ryan Roberts, Crisis Intervention Specialist.

Starting this coming summer, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) will launch 988, a 3-digit shortcode (like 911) for calling or texting for help in a mental health crisis. This will be paired with increases in federal and state funding to many of the crisis call centers that answer NSPL calls, including Lines for Life.

Lines for Life’s successful union drive is yet another group of Behavioral Health workers who are coming together with Oregon AFSCME.

“We are excited for these workers to have won a voice in their workplace and join our union family. As with all employers, we are hopeful that Line for Life will work in good faith as we negotiate a first contract to help provide the resources and support necessary as we work to improve employee and client outcomes” said Oregon AFSCME Executive Director Stacy Chamberlain.