Aug. 31 (UPI) -- New York City has decided to delay plans to lay off 22,000 workers to plug a budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.
The city was supposed to start informing workers Monday they would be laid off in October if the city couldn't fill a $9 billion revenue deficit. The gap was caused by lack of sales taxes and extra emergency expenses related to the pandemic.
Monday, de Blasio said the layoff plan has been put on hold.
"For [New York] to really come back we have to have a strong pubic sector, to provide all the services people need as part of our recovery," de Blasio told reporters Monday.
The mayor said he met with union leaders who'd asked for more time to appeal for a long-term borrowing plan for the city. De Blasio said New York City's budget staff will evaluate the situation regularly.
New York City employs about 325,000 people, and job cuts could extend to first responders who have been on the front lines of the pandemic.
The city's bus and subway system, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, faces a $12 billion shortfall that may result in 40% cuts across public transportation lines.
New York's Democratic-majority legislature has objected to de Blasio's request to borrow $5 billion.
The state is withholding 20% of city revenue after state coffers were light in business and motor vehicle taxes, leaving the state budget $1 billion in the hole.
The city has already cut 19,000 jobs due to budget constraints, and the state has cut 90,000.