Thousands of city workers who took unpaid furlough days will get that money back starting this summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Saturday.
About 9,500 city employees were forced to take five days of furlough between October 2020 and March as the city faced an unprecedented budget crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Saturday, the mayor said the federal stimulus puts the city in a “much better place,” allowing for the employees’ payback.
“Public servants have gone above and beyond to serve New Yorkers this past year,” de Blasio said in a statement.
Employees can sign up to reclassify their furlough days in June and will receive the money back in July.
Last summer, 22,000 city employees narrowly avoided layoffs due to negotiations between the de Blasio administration and municipal unions. Under an October deal with the city’s largest union—District Council 37—the city agreed not to lay off any members until the end of June.
In March, President Joe Biden and a Congress newly-controlled by Democrats narrowly passed a COVID relief package that would direct $6 billion in coronavirus relief funds to New York City. It was about $3 billion short of an earlier request from the mayor. But after months of persistent pleas for local aid from the federal government, the mayor had applauded the federal assistance.