City Budget Plan Could Cut 11K Jobs, Spares 892 Police

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday the city must cut nearly 11,000 jobs from its 300,000-person work force, including hundreds of firefighters and thousands of teachers, because of budget woes.

Bloomberg already said a few weeks ago that he would not lay off police officers due to budget cuts, but NBCNewYork  learned yesterday his executive budget will also restore 892 police officer jobs he planned to eliminate through attrition.

The Bloomberg administration has been waiting to see how much aid the city will get from the state. But the state budget is more than a month late, and the mayor said the city has to assume the worst.

"Unless the Legislature acts, New York City residents will pay the price for Albany's bad decisions,'' Bloomberg said.  "We face a terrible price for Albany's irresponsibility," he said.

Bloomberg outlined an updated spending plan for the city's next fiscal year that starts July 1.

He said the $62.9 billion budget assumes state aid will be cut by $1.3 billion, which is what was proposed in early state plans.

He sharply accused the state of  "starving'' New York City. Other cuts proposed in his preliminary spending plan in January are still in the budget.

Those include closing some public swimming pools, eliminating 20 fire engine companies, raising parking rates in midtown Manhattan and closing 50 senior centers.

It calls for the layoffs of 6,414 teachers, 400 firefighters, 20 firehouses, and more ACS caseworkers.

The impending layoffs would have the greatest impact on NYC classrooms.  Mayor Bloomberg says he would have to cut more than 6,400 teacher jobs unless the late state budget is resolved soon and reverses the Governor's deep education cuts.

"The impact is awful," said Schools Chancellor Joel Klein admitted. "We need more teachers not fewer teachers."
The Bloomberg administration says the teachers' contract would force them to lay off the newest teachers first. Mayor Bloomberg says newer teachers are some of the best.  
Mike Muntner has been a teacher for just two years at a middle school in the East Village.  He tells he's worried he'll have to move back in with his parents. 

"It's a bit nerve racking because I don't really know what's gonna happen,"  Muntner said.  
During Mayor Bloomberg's briefing,  Governor Paterson's budget director Robert Megna sent a scathing statement to reporters.

The statement said: "The Mayor’s budget uses the State as a scapegoat to shirk responsibility for their own budget choices." 

Megna also accused the Bloomberg administration of doing selective accounting to make Governor Paterson's budget proposal look bad.
Mayor Bloomberg did not respond well when Melissa Russo read the statement to him during his briefing.  "He can say that, but I think you won't put it on television. It's the most outrageous thing he could say."
The Mayor took another swipe at Megna by suggesting he "call down to the second floor" to find out what's in the Governor's budget.
A NYC budget needs to be passed by June 30th, regardless of whether a State budget has been passed.

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