UFCW Local 400 Contract Empowers Kaiser Members to Strengthen Community-based Health Care

UFCW Local 400 members serving as physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners for Kaiser Mid-Atlantic are headed to community clinics to strengthen the quality of care for residents in underserved neighborhoods,
thanks to their union contract.

On August 22, the Kaiser Permanente Foundation launched a new program to
take patient care directly into communities. Known as the Community Ambassadors Program, it establishes 35 new, permanent positions for nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to provide care outside company facilities in neighborhood-based clinics. Local 400’s contract with Kaiser ensures that these health care professionals are covered by its protections and are employed the company, rather than another entity.

Many of the Community Ambassadors Program health care professionals were adversely affected by a 2007 corporate realignment that eliminated nurse practitioner positions, costing some their jobs and forcing others to move to registered nurse positions at lower pay. Thanks to their union contract, these former nurse practitioners were the first to be hired for the Community Ambassadors Program.

This is a huge achievement for our Kaiser members–one that demonstrates
the enormous benefits of having a union contract. We congratulate our Kaiser members who are in the Community Ambassador Program expanding access to care for those who need it the most, improving the quality of care, and raising the quality of life in many of our neighborhoods. They are performing a vital public service.