Gov. David Paterson is ordering 8,900 state workers be laid off after unions refused concessions amid a staggering economic downturn.
Budget Director Laura Anglin told The Associated Press that Paterson is calling for the first state layoffs since the late 1990s following the unions' refusal to even provide counter proposals.
The layoffs could begin July 1.
Anglin says unions have been informed, but could still try to return to the table in the coming days before a budget is negotiated.
She says the layoffs will save nearly $500 million over two years. The state faces a $16 billion deficit this year.
State Senate Majority leader Malcolm Smith issued a statement saying: "These are difficult times and no segment of the state is immune to the harsh reality of the fiscal crisis. We urge the union leadership who represent the public sector workforce to step up and renegotiate a fair agreement that is consistent with the principle of shared sacrifice all New Yorkers must accept during times of economic distress."