De Blasio Says NYC Mayor's Office Staff, Including Himself, To Take Weeklong Furlough

Adam Warner
September 16, 2020 - 10:35 am

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that hundreds of staff members at the Mayor's Office—including himself and staff at his wife's office—are being furloughed.

    De Blasio said nearly 500 staff members will take a furlough of five days during which they won’t be paid.

    Listen Live Now on WCBS Newsradio 880

    They'll be required to take the furlough between Oct. 1 and March, he said.

    “As of Oct. 1, every Mayor’s Office employee will be taking a furlough—and that obviously includes myself,” de Blasio said. “This is a step you never want to see for good, hard-working people. The folks who work here, throughout this crisis, they have not been working 35- or 40-hour weeks. They’ve been working 80-hour weeks, 90-hour weeks, 100-hour weeks, because they believe in this city and they’ve been fighting for all of you. So it is with pain that I say they and their families will lose a week’s pay.”

    De Blasio said the furloughs, in addition to savings from the adopted budget, will represent a 12% cut to the Mayor’s Office budget for fiscal year 2021. The city is hoping to say $860,000 with the move.

    A spokesperson for the mayor said City Hall is using this to send a message to all city workers about how seriously it takes the fiscal crisis.

    The city is facing a $9 billion budget deficit over two years and has already cut $7 billion from the budget. De Blasio has warned for months that the city may have to lay off 22,000 government workers unless the unions and city can find savings. The city is also seeking borrowing authority from the state or billions of dollars in aid from the federal government.

    "Here we are in the middle of September. I couldn’t have imagined no action by Washington, D.C. up until this point," de Blasio said. "I truly believed that our colleagues in Albany would have acted by now on long-term borrowing, and I still believe that can happen and hopefully very soon."

    "But right now we don’t have that support and we have to keep making tough choices to move this city forward to keep our budget balanced," he said.

    When asked by a reporter why de Blasio would not consider a 1% hike in property takes to potentially raise $750 million, the mayor said it wasn't right to ask people to pay more.

    "I don't believe a property tax increase is the right thing, and I won't do it. I just won't do a property tax increase, that's off the table. Period," the mayor said.

    Stay informed, stay connected — follow WCBS 880 on Facebook and Twitter. Download the RADIO.COM app + favorite WCBS 880 for breaking news, traffic and weather alerts.