De Blasio says early retirement incentives should be considered for NYC employees facing potential layoffs

'It’s not the whole solution'

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that early retirement incentives should be considered for city employees who are facing potential layoffs amid an ongoing budget crisis.

De Blasio stressed during a press briefing that early retirement incentives, if offered, would only be a piece of the solution.

"I think early retirement as a policy is something we have to put into play," he said. "So definitely a piece of the solution, it’s not the whole solution, but early retirement will definitely be a piece of the solution."

NYC MAYOR'S OFFICE, INCLUDING DE BLASIO, TO BE FURLOUGHED FOR A WEEK AMID BUDGET CRISIS

Since the beginning of the year, de Blasio has been working to find a way to combat the $9 billion coronavirus-related revenue loss facing the nation’s biggest city. He has repeatedly stressed that he is doing so with little help from the federal government.

In a move to try and offset losses, de Blasio even announced that his entire office, including him, will be furloughed for a week to help fight the city's multibillion-dollar budget crisis.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, with Dr. Oxiris Barbot, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, listens to a reporter's question in New York on Feb. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, with Dr. Oxiris Barbot, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, listens to a reporter's question in New York on Feb. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

"I think the problem we're all experiencing here is that help just hasn't come from where we expect it to," he said. "We expect it to come from Washington and the stimulus we expect to come from Albany in the form of long-term borrowing – it hasn't."

Monday's remarks indicate his latest attempt to avoid the expected layoffs for more than 20,000 municipal employees due to virus-related budget losses.

DE BLASIO SAYS 22K NYC LAYOFFS ON THE TABLE, AS CORONAVIRUS-RELATED BUDGET HOLES DEEPEN

"I've spoken to the leadership of the legislature in Albany and many members of legislature, and there's a strong consensus that early retirement will have to be part of this package," he said.

An Albany legislative source told the New York Daily News that several bills on early retirement incentives have been drafted and in the coming days there should be some movement on at least one of them.

“It’s definitely being discussed and probably something that will be moved forward,” the legislative source told the outlet.

However, de Blasio questioned how effective it will be if an early retirement option is provided but the retiree's role is later filled with another person.

"If you provide the early retirement option, but then you need to go back and fill that same role with another person and pay their salary. You're not saving money," he said.

De Blasio added: "So it still comes down to how many jobs we're going to be able to save going forward and the services we need to provide to the people."

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