About 9,000 more New York City government workers are being furloughed as the municipal budget struggles with a $9 billion hole punched by the coronavirus pandemic, and layoffs are "still on the table," Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
The workers, who de Blasio said hold managerial jobs with others not represented by labor unions, will each lose five days' pay and must take off five days between October and March. The furloughs will save about $21 million, he said.
On Sept. 16, de Blasio announced furloughs for himself and about 500 employees of his office, a savings of about $1 million.
"Today, another furlough action, and again, it’s a difficult one, because it will affect real people and their lives," de Blasio said Wednesday at his daily news conference. "It will affect their families, and these are people who have been working nonstop for months, trying to protect all of you and look out for the whole city. It’s something very sad when people work who this hard have to then sacrifice further."
De Blasio, who earlier this year cut billions from the municipal budget he hoped to enact for the fiscal year, has said that absent a federal bailout or borrowing authority from New York State, there could still be as many as 22,000 layoffs in the city’s workforce of about 300,000.
So far, the White House and Republicans in the United States Senate have balked at a bailout, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as well as other Albany leaders have come out against extending borrowing authority.
De Blasio said that "we continue our conversations with the labor unions" and further savings — on top of the furloughs and other cuts to the city budget — are necessary to plug the $9 billion hole.
"We need to keep finding savings to keep bridging us, to give us a chance to get to something better than layoffs," de Blasio said. "No one wants to see layoffs, but unfortunately they’re still on the table."