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Press Release

Breaking Ground Officially Recognizes Employee Union Represented by DC 37

Voluntary recognition agreement between District Council 37 and Breaking Ground is the first since the passage of the Labor Peace Bill

NEW YORK—Today, over 250 Breaking Ground workers officially joined District Council 37. Their unionization follows voluntary recognition from Breaking Ground, which was reached earlier this month and recognized the intention of the workers to unionize.

“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,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME. “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.”

“The success of our work is built with people - most especially our dedicated employees - and we value everyone as a part of the solution," said Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground. "That is 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 27. 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 New York's largest nonprofit 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.

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