Published: 16:46 BST, 23 September 2020 | Updated: 19:27 BST, 23 September 2020
Mayor Bill de Blasio has expanded New York City’s five-day furlough to 9,000 city workers, including staff not protected by unions, in order to make $21 million in savings for the cash-strapped Big Apple.
De Blasio announced the furloughs in a press conference Wednesday saying that all managerial employees of the city government and all employees not represented by organized labor will be affected.
The furloughs, a one-week unpaid leave of absence per worker, will take place from October through to March 2021 and will hit more than 9,000 workers at city agencies.
It will save New York City around $21 million – something that will barely put a dent in its massive budget deficit of $4.2 billion.
The latest cuts come one week after de Blasio said he was furloughing himself and up to 500 of his own mayoral staff – including his wife – for a week in a move that will save the city $860,000.
NYC Mayor de Blasio expands 5-day furlough to 9,000 city workers including managerial employees not protected by unions in order to save $21M for the Big Apple
De Blasio said the latest round of furloughs had been a ‘difficult’ decision and called it ‘very sad’ and ‘painful’.
‘It’s a difficult one because it will affect real people and their lives,’ de Blasio said.
‘It will affect their families and these are the people who have been working non-stop for months trying to protect all of you and look out for the whole city.’
‘It’s something very sad when the people who have worked so hard have to sacrifice further.’
De Blasio warned that more permanent job losses could become a reality if the federal government doesn’t send aid to the city or if the state doesn’t authorize it to borrow funds.
He has repeatedly said 22,000 city jobs are on the line and could face the chop as soon as next month.
He said the city was working with labor groups and unions to find other savings and prevent layoffs.
De Blasio announced the furloughs in a press conference Wednesday and warned that all managerial employees of the city government and all unrepresented employees at city agencies would be affected
The furloughs will take place from October through to March 2020. The latest cuts at City Hall (pictured) come after de Blasio furloughed himself and up to 500 of his own mayoral staff – including his wife – for a week last week
‘Something that’s very painful to have to announce as real human consequences, but it is necessary, and we continue our conversations with the labor unions, we continue our conversations with Albany trying to get relief.
‘We don’t have results yet, we need to keep finding savings to keep urging us to give us a chance to get to something better than layoffs no one wants to see layoffs, but unfortunately they’re still on the table,’ de Blasio said.
He took aim at the federal government as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo for so far failing to help bail the addled city out.
‘Look what would really solve this, a federal stimulus and it’s shocking that it still hasn’t happened, and hope continues to dim for anything in the next few months, and then long term borrowing Albany I continue to say it is a straightforward time-honored option, it is something makes so much sense to stop this uncertainty, and we’re going to keep fighting for that as well.’
Last week, de Blasio furloughed himself and 495 City Hall staffers for a week at some point during the same period of October to March.
‘To have to do this is painful for them and their families, but it is the right thing to do at this moment in history.’
While other staffers will not work for the duration of the unpaid week of leave, the mayor promised that he will continue working without pay during his own.
Homeless people sleep outside below scaffolding in New York City as the city’s homelessness is now rife following the pandemic
The city, which has a workforce of nearly 325,000 employees, has been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic after it became the global virus epicenter with around 800 New Yorkers dying every day at its April peak.
As well as the many lives lost, the pandemic hit the city hard financially, costing a staggering $9 billion in revenue and forcing a $7 billion cut to the city’s annual budget.
This comes at a time when the city also needs to plug a $4.2 billion deficit in its 2021 budget.
Fears are mounting that the Big Apple is on the verge of falling into disrepair, as crime rates soar and homelessness is rife.
New York City’s murder rate has soared by 27 percent and gang violence has risen by more than 50 percent in 2020, according to new NYPD data published in the 2020 Mayor’s Management Report last Thursday.
While the report from City Hall attributes this particular surge to the NYPD ‘improving its capacity to more accurately identify incidents as gang related’, the findings come at a time when drive-by shootings and gun crime are becoming increasingly commonplace across the city.
Meanwhile, widespread business closures, a lack of employment opportunities and support services shuttered for months during lockdown has forced more New Yorkers onto the streets and homeless encampments have now been set up on all corners of Manhattan.
De Blasio, who himself has a personal net worth of $2.5 million, has come under fire for his handling of the burgeoning crisis.
In June, the mayor cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion budget as calls to ‘defund’ the police grew from Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the Memorial Day ‘murder’ of black man George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The cuts came after shocking footage circulated on social media of NYPD cops violently attacking protesters gathered to demand an end to police brutality and racism.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (pictured) previously said he was against upping taxes for the rich to tackle the deficit but has now said he can’t rule it out
Drastic budget cuts have been made to essential services leaving the city’s streets and parks – not long ago a hive of urban activity – dirty and overflowing with rubbish.
Rich New Yorkers fled the city in their droves during the pandemic and with many offices yet to reopen and fears of the city’s demise, many are staying away for the foreseeable future.
De Blasio has repeatedly touted the possibility of raising taxes for the wealthy to help plug the hole in the city’s budget deficit.
‘Help me tax the wealthy. Help me redistribute wealth. Help me build affordable housing in white communities if you want desegregation,’ the mayor said on The Brian Lehrer Show in August.
Cuomo previously said he was against such a move and instead begged the wealthy to return.
‘This will be a hole in the financial plan so large that it will be impossible to fill,’ Cuomo said.
‘What would we do to try to fill it? Taxes, cuts, borrowing, early retirements [of government workers]. All of the above.’
He said the federal government needs to provide crisis funding but so far no respite has been offered.
Share what you think
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.
News – NYC Mayor de Blasio expands five-day furlough to 9,000 city workers