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Bloomberg directs layoffs under city's budget plan

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Thousands of city jobs are on the chopping block over the next 18 months under an austere budget unveiled Thursday by the mayor’s office.

To bridge a $2.4 billion budget gap, Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to reduce about 10,400 positions through fiscal year 2012, which begins July 1. That includes 6,200 layoffs.

Runaway pension and Medicaid costs are to blame, according to the revised financial plan, which forecasts the next four years. Hiring would only be allowed for positions that affect public health and safety, generate revenue or are not funded with city tax dollars.

“We simply cannot afford the size of our current workforce,” said Bloomberg, who will present the budget in January.

District Council 37, which represents about 125,000 city workers, said the mayor should first consider other revenue-generating alternatives, such as collecting tax revenue from billboards, before trimming staff.

Among the city agencies affected under the budget:

•Department of Sanitation must eliminate 200 supervisor posts and redeploy them as sanitation workers.

•Police Department must eliminate 350 civilian positions.

•Department of Transportation must lay off 35 managerial, administrative, clerical and planning employees.

•Department of Parks and Recreation must reduce the work year from one year to nine months for 1,468 full-time positions.

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