Published: July 28, 2021

This year, CODA (Comprehensive Options for Drug Abuse) workers set out to renegotiate their contract. CODA’s outpatient and inpatient treatment sites in the Portland metro area are one of our community’s best assets for Oregonians in recovery, but despite the essential services that CODA workers provide, our members there weren’t being paid a living wage, and some were even being paid less than the new minimum wage that went into effect on July 1, 2021.

At the beginning of the bargaining campaign, CODA members entered negotiations with important goals in mind: Ending poverty wages at CODA, building pathways of career advancement in this field and within CODA, stopping the revolving door of staff turnover by aligning the wage scale with peer employers. After a hard-fought campaign with pickets at multiple sites, petitions, sticker-up days, and a high level of member-driven action overall, the CODA bargaining team reached a Tentative Agreement!

  • Here are a few of the highlights:
    First-year wage increases totaling 7% to 14%, with higher COLAs going to the lowest salary range and additional increases for the counseling staff to be compensated more competitively, to boost retention and thus ensure a higher level of consistent client care.
  • Members will also see second-year COLAs of 3%, and in the third year, another COLA, this time between 1% and 3% based on the 2023 CPI.
  • A $2,000 COVID-19 hazard bonus for all workers with at least 4 months on the job to recognize their sacrifices during the pandemic.
  • Counselor positions moving into higher ranges in the wage scale to make them competitive with other employers, and a new, top wage range for Senior Counselors, Skills Trainers, and Mentors.
  • Increased reimbursement for education and training so people are able to grow their careers while remaining at CODA.

Overall, SEIU members at CODA will see their wages go up anywhere from $3-$7 per hour during the life of this contract. This win is an example of what we can accomplish when we unite and bring the full strength of our membership to the bargaining table.