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More Than 250 Breaking Ground Workers Unionize, Join AFSCME District Council 37

Published Friday, October 29, 2021
by District Council 37 News
More Than 250 Breaking Ground Workers Unionize, Join AFSCME District Council 37

(NEW YORK CITY) – As many as 250 Breaking Ground Workers have officially Gone Union with American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 37 following voluntary recognition from management.

The agreement between Breaking Ground and District Council 37 recognized the intention of the Workers to Unionize - the first such agreement since Intro. 2252, known colloquially as the Labor Peace Agreement, was signed into law earlier this year.

Breaking Ground is New York’s largest non-profit developer and operator of supportive housing, with over 4,400 units of transitional and permanent housing under management.  The agency also runs street homeless outreach programs in Brooklyn, Queens, and Midtown Manhattan.

Now that voluntary recognition was reached and the Union Cards have been officially checked, the following Breaking Ground titles will become part of District Council 37: 311 Dispatchers; Case Managers; Engineers; Harm Reduction Specialists; Housekeepers; Housing Advocates; Housing Reporting Specialists; Housing Specialists; Maintenance Workers; Office Managers; Outreach Case Managers; Painters; Porters; Rent Administrators; and Residential Aides.

Breaking Ground Employees, in partnership with District Council 37, will begin negotiating with Breaking Ground management in the coming weeks.

District Council 37 is New York City’s largest Municipal Union, representing 150,000 Workers and 50,000 Retirees.  Inclusive in the count, the Union currently represents 18,000 Non-Profit Human and Social Services Workers.

“Breaking Ground is setting the example for how it’s done.  Workers got together, decided they wanted to organize and management supported them.  That’s how it should be,” AFSCME District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “I want to thank Breaking Ground for their partnership in this effort and congratulate the Workers on their success.  We’re excited to have you join the family.”

Breaking Ground President and CEO Brenda Rosen said: “The success of our work is built with people - most especially our dedicated Employees and we value everyone as a part of the solution.  That’s why we chose to voluntarily recognize DC 37 and work together to further our shared mission and values.  We will move forward in good faith to establish an equitable and sustainable contract.”

Breaking Ground Employees began their campaign this Summer and filed for a Union with DC 37 on August 27th.

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