NEW YORK - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that more than 9,000 city employees will be furloughed for five days between October and March as part of an effort to close the city’s massive budget gap.
The furloughs, which should save around $21 million, will affect all managerial and non-union labor in the city government.
The move comes just a week after the mayor said he and his staff of 500 would also be furloughed for five days, as part of an effort to make up the city’s billion-dollar budget deficit.
“We need to keep finding savings that give us a chance to get to something better than layoffs,” de Blasio said.
Watchdog groups have recommended the Mayor achieve the savings not through layoffs, but through other cost-saving measures like a strict hiring freeze and attrition.
"We think that they need to continue negotiating and that layoffs are not necessary," said Maria Doulis of the Citizens Budget Commission. "The Mayor has tools at his disposal to find savings in the budget."
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While de Blasio has reiterated his belief that a federal stimulus could solve the city's budget woes, Doulis says you can't pin all of your hopes on such an outcome and that de Blasio must manage the budget using the tools at his disposal.