Furloughs to Cause 10% Pay Cut for New Orleans City Workers

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — City workers in New Orleans will have their pay cut by 10% as Louisiana’s largest city braces for an expected $150 million decline in revenue amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced the plan Monday. It includes temporary furloughs for 4,700 employees, including police, firefighters and other public safety personnel, news outlets reported.

The proposal would take effect in the next pay period starting Oct. 10 and require all city workers to take an unpaid day off once every 14-day pay period through the end of the year. The Civil Service Commission must approve the action.

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Department heads and political appointees, including Cantrell, will also take a pay cut, but the mayor said she expects those workers to continue to come to work every day.

“The reality is we are in a fiscal crisis here in the city of New Orleans,” Cantrell said during a news conference Monday. “The pandemic has affected the city’s entire workforce. City Hall is not immune.”

The furloughs were expected to save the city about $6 million — a fraction of its $627 million budget, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate said. Still, officials warned that next year could bring additional cuts, including layoffs or a push for early retirements.

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Some unions urged the administration to leave public safety workers out of the furloughs, warning the move could endanger residents, according to the newspaper.

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