Thousands of New York City employees could be next to join the growing unemployment rolls.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked agency heads to prepare for thousands of layoffs, according to a letter obtained by NBCNewYork.com. As many as 7,000 more jobs could be eliminated, City Hall sources said.
The reason? The city's economic outlook has continued to deteriorate and tax revenues continue to fall short of projections.
The new round of cuts affects next year's budget, which begins on July 1 and would slash another $350 million. This comes on top of 15 percent in cuts Bloomberg already has ordered for next year. Today, most city agencies, including the Department of Health, the Buildings Department and the Administration for Children's services face an additional 4-percent reduction.
However, some agencies are taking less of a hit. Uniformed agencies like the FDNY and NYPD face an additional .5 percent cut and schools are being asked for a smaller 1.4 percent reduction.
In the letter, city bean counters give agency heads until 12 p.m. on Monday to decide which jobs will go. Budget Director Mark Page said he is willing to consider alternatives to layoffs, but the reality is that there isn't much left to cut other than jobs, since the budget has been slashed so much already.
"Given the efficiencies you have already achieved, this next step would most likely rely heavily on additional headcount reductions, whether through attrition, or, as is more likely, through layoffs," Page warned.
Agency heads hope the job cuts won't come to fruition.
Expect Bloomberg to use this threat of layoffs to pressure Albany and the municipal unions to cooperate on several changes he wants.
Bloomberg’s Albany Wish List:
- Albany should give NYC permission to raise the sales tax.
- Albany and the unions should agree to create a new, less generous pension tier for new employees.
- City employees should kick in 10 percent of their health insurance premiums, as is expected in the private sector.
Bloomberg's budget plan for next year already included plans for at least 1,300 layoffs. This brings the new likely total to more than 8,300.