New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has furloughed the entire mayor’s office, including himself, amid a multi-billion dollar budget crisis in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As of October 1, every mayor’s office employee will be taking a furlough—and that obviously includes myself,” de Blasio said during a Wednesday morning press conference. “This is a step you never want to see for good, hard-working people.”
The furlough of 495 staff members, including the mayor’s wife, is expected to save roughly $860,000 between October 2020 and March 2021, according to the New York Times.
The mayor continued, “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.”
“We have to make tough choices to move this city forward and keep our budget balanced,” he added.
Currently, New York City has a $9 billion budget over two year period with city already having cut $7 billion, according to the mayor. De Blaiso is also seeking billions in federal aid to help avoid having to lay off thousands of government workers.
“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.”
He continued, “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.”