De Blasio: Layoffs of 22K city workers 'painful reality' after stimulus 'appears to be dead'

Adam Warner
August 12, 2020 - 11:52 am
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city still plans to lay off 22,000 workers in October if it can't get funding from Albany or find savings through unions now that the federal stimulus “appears to be dead.”

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“If you’ve got to keep cutting and keep cutting, it has to at some point reach personnel,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing Wednesday. “It’s just pure logic of budgets—and it’s very sad logic. I don’t like it one bit. And I want to avert this at all costs.”

The mayor said the potential 22,000 layoffs is a “painfully real” possibility on Oct. 1 as the city projects a two-year revenue loss of $9.6 billion.

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“We all hoped and prayed there would be a stimulus—that appears to be dead now,” de Blasio said. “We’re going to Albany to ask for appropriate long-term borrowing capacity. That would stave off the layoffs. If we don’t have that, we’re going to keep working with labor looking for every solution, every kind of saving.”

“But if we don’t have something else that stops it, we do plan 22,000 layoffs on Oct. 1,” de Blasio said, calling it a “massive, painful number.”

“It resembles the kinds of things we had to do decades ago,” he added.

City agencies have received guidance on how to prepare for the potential layoffs, and de Blasio said every agency has to come back with “a lot of savings.”

The mayor said if the city is unable to get long-term borrowing from Albany like it did after 9/11 or find other savings with labor unions, “Every single agency will experience cuts, every single agency will have to save a lot of money. And, generally, that will take the form of layoffs.”

“We’re talking about tens of thousands of families that would be affected,” de Blasio said. “I don’t want to see that happen and I don’t want to see New Yorkers suffer the loss of services.”