Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg to Unveil Massive Layoff Plan Today for City Workers by Sally Goldenberg -

"I am deeply troubled by the Mayor’s proposed nighttime closures because they will put our public safety at risk," said City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (D-30, Queens), Chair of the Fire & Criminal Justice Committee. "Only five months ago the Mayor made an agreement with the City Council to keep all fire companies open and fully operational.  We go through the budget process to lay out our priorities for the entire fiscal year-- that included the $37 million allocated from the City Council to avoid closing fire companies.” 

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Mayor Bloomberg today is expected to order thousands of layoffs next year in bruising budget cuts intended to close a massive gap, sources told The Post last night.

Bloomberg will announce the widespread job reductions and service cuts as he tries to close the nearly $3.3 billion budget deficit the city is facing next year.

In September he directed all agency heads to cut 5.4 percent from their current budgets and 8 percent from their spending plans for next year.

The cuts were lower -- 2.7 percent this year and 4 percent next year -- for the Department of Education and the four uniformed agencies, the NYPD, FDNY, Sanitation and Correction.

The total cuts over the next 18 months will total at least $1.5 billion.

The Department of Finance is expected to take a steep hit of about 100 layoffs, several sources said.

The mayor will also announce reductions in staff through attrition.

When asked about layoffs yesterday the mayor replied, "Doing more with less always means fewer people because 80 percent of your budget is spent on salaries and benefits."

One source familiar with what the mayor will announce today said Hizzoner will drop the budget ax hard on services for seniors, libraries and cultural centers, while trying to spare the NYPD and Department of Education.

The mayor also is expected to propose closing 20 fire companies at night -- a tempered plan after his suggestion to completely shutter 20 fire companies last year faced resistance.

The City Council ultimately restored funding for those companies.

Additional reporting by David Seifman