CAHOOTS, HOOTS workers continue work towards forming labor union
Workers with two programs run by the White Bird Clinic are pressing on with unionization efforts.
In recent years, CAHOOTS has been held up as a model alternative to police action. Meaning “Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets,” the service went to 24-hours five years ago, then saw demand intensify during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chelsea Swift is a crisis worker with CAHOOTS. She said burnout and retention have been major issues among staff, and that’s largley motivated the push to form a union.
“We want to work at White Bird for a really long time,” Swift told KLCC. “But we need to make more than a couple thousand dollars a month after taxes to do that. We need to have a retirement to make CAHOOTS a career. And those are things that just historically have not been built into the non-profit system.”
Other workers with Helping Out Our Teens in Schools (HOOTS), are also supporting the unionization effort. They’ve been meeting with Teamsters Local 206 in Springfield, and hope White Bird is receptive to their push.