New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that he is furloughing his own staff, including himself, in a symbolic gesture that will save just $860,000 while the city faces a budget deficit of some $4.2billion.
The mayor’s plan will affect 495 City Hall staffers who will be asked to take an unpaid, weeklong furlough at some point between October and March 2021.
The furloughs will be taken by administrative assistants to both the mayor and his wife, Chirlane McCray, The New York Times is reporting.
De Blasio’s spokesperson told the Times that the mayor plans to continue working during his own furlough.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is seen above talking on the phone on the Coney Island Boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn, on Tuesday
The coronavirus outbreak had caused the city to lose $9billion in revenue and forced a $7billion cut to the city’s annual budget, de Blasio told reporters.
The furloughs will save only about $1million, the mayor said, but may serve as a useful symbol as he continues to negotiate with labor unions representing municipal employees over broader payroll savings.
‘It was not a decision I made lightly,’ he told reporters.
‘To have to do this is painful for them and their families, but it is the right thing to do at this moment in history.’
With the furloughs and other savings, the mayor’s office budget this fiscal year will be 12 per cent smaller than it was last year, de Blasio said, though he did not provide absolute totals.