More than 20,000 city employees in all city agencies could lose their jobs to create $ 1 billion in cuts needed to balance the budget with the coronavirus-hungry coffers of the Big Apple, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
“Closing the $ 1 billion gap would mean laying off 22,000 city employees, which is a staggering number,” de Blasio said during his daily news conference.
The mayor has been in talks with municipal labor unions to try to find other cuts that do not reduce the city’s 300,000 workforce by 7 percent, but time is running out. By law, the city must have a balanced budget for the next fiscal year before June 30.
“We are prepared if we have to start this type of plan with the expected time to find alternatives from Washington or Albany,” de Blasio said.
If a bailout does not occur, the layoffs would take effect in the fall.
Hizzoner described possible cuts in the workforce as “the only way” to close the budget gap.
“It would literally be every agency and the mayor’s office,” he said.
The Post exclusively reported last month that De Blasio had spent $ 2 million on hires and promotions primarily at City Hall during an alleged hiring freeze during the pandemic.
The city’s shrinking coffers started at $ 95.3 billion this winter before lost revenue from the COVID-19 shutdown decimated the treasury. It is now at $ 87 billion and there are likely to be further reductions.
“That number may have to drop again over the course of the fiscal year as revenue worsens even more than expected,” de Blasio said Wednesday.
The mayor has promised to cut funds from the NYPD’s $ 6 billion budget, but will transfer an unspecified amount to youth services so that the reduction does not reduce overall spending.
De Blasio has resisted calls from City Council leaders and advocates to cut $ 1 billion from the New York police budget, repeating on Wednesday that he must balance any reform with security concerns given the increase “really worrying “in the shootings this month.