Mayor Bill de Blasio and the nearly 500 employees dedicated to his office will take one week of unpaid leave as the Big Apple desperately tries to shore up its balance sheet amid a new bid for budget aid.
The mandatory furloughs are expected to save less than $1 million but may build pressure on the city’s labor unions to come to terms with City Hall on the $1 billion in cuts de Blasio needs to balance his 2021 budget.
It also comes as de Blasio has struggled to convince President Trump and lawmakers in Washington to provide federal aid for the Big Apple’s coronavirus-caused budget crunch — or to convince Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers in Albany to provide the emergency borrowing authority to balance the books if help from the feds doesn’t arrive.
“It is with pain that I say they and their families will lose a week’s pay, but it’s something they have to do, it’s something I have to do,” de Blasio told reporters during his daily press briefing Wednesday.
“It was not a decision I made lightly,” he added. “It is the right thing to do at this moment in history.”
De Blasio’s press secretary Bill Neidhardt announced the decision in a statement to The New York Times and described the move as “a significant gesture that reasserts City Hall recognizes the sacrifices that will have to be made across the board if we don’t get a stimulus or borrowing.”
The furloughs must be taken between October and March.
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