Under Mayor Bloomberg's proposed budget, 20 fire companies would close, 834 city workers would lose their jobs, and thousands wouldn't get raises. The Mayor's budget calls for shutting down four more firehouses than he requested to close last year (City Council rescued them last year) and firing 299 libraries employees, 186 workers at cultural institutions, and 141 Health Department staffers. Police, firefighters, sanitation workers or corrections department workers would be spared from layoffs.
Thousands of city workers who had been slated to receive raises of 1.25 percent won't be paid any additional money — saving the city $190 million. According to the Daily News, teachers would get a 2 percent pay raise, but only on the first $70,000 of their salaries (the Mayor had initially budgeted 4 percent raises for teachers). "The savings we would make would mitigate the need to lay off 2,500 teachers," said Bloomberg, who also wants to tax jet fuel, increase the cost of truck parking in Manhattan by 25 percent, close four pools, and fire nurses from schools with fewer than 300 students. "The world has changed, and we have to make a choice. Do we want to pay more and have 2,500 fewer teachers, or have 2,500 more teachers?"
Facing the prospects of a serious deficit, the Mayor imposed severe cuts on city agencies last fall. Those cuts, coupled with tax revenues that weren't as bad as anticipated have given the city a surplus of $2.9 billion — all of which will go towards next year's budget. "We are using up the entire surplus in 2011, and what's worrisome is that in 2012, we are starting with a projected deficit of $3.2 billion," he said. "Next year, any deficit reduction program is going to be harder. We keep getting closer and closer to the bone." Earlier this week, Bloomberg told Albany lawmakers that Gov. Paterson's proposed budget would force him to layoff 18,500 city workers.