New York Gov. David Paterson says he will send layoff notices to 898 state workers scheduled to lose their jobs by the end of the year.
The announcement was immediately met with outrage from public worker unions that have promised they'll sue to stop any cuts.
The unions cite a legal memo signed by Paterson under a new pension plan agreement that guaranteed no layoffs before Dec. 31, the last day of Paterson's term.
The layoffs represent less than 1 percent of the 130,000 state workers under the governor's control.
The Democrat says Thursday the cuts are needed because union leaders have refused to make any concessions, including delaying 4 percent raises, to address the state's deficit.
The state's total work force is nearly 200,000.