Sayegh administration may furlough Paterson employees | Paterson Times

Sayegh administration may furlough Paterson employees


Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration is looking to possibly impose a mandatory furlough that will run from October to March.

Sayegh’s business administrator Kathleen Long issued a memorandum, dated August 19, to representatives of labor unions on Tuesday.

Employees are being asked to give up 13 pay days. Employees will lose one day every pay cycle. Furloughs will cover 11 Fridays and 2 Wednesdays from October 2020 to March 2021, according to the memorandum.

Paterson has 1,700 employees.

“We had to file notice pursuant to civil service rules, but by no means does that mean we’re going to be imposing a furlough,” said Sayegh on Wednesday morning. “This is contingent upon certain variables manifesting to avoid a furlough.”

Sayegh said the memo does not represent a final decision to impose a furlough. He said it’s a back up plan in case of revenue shortfalls.

Long’s memo states the temporary layoff in the form of a furlough is needed for “public health and safety due to the coronavirus pandemic” and “economic and efficiency” reasons.

Passaic County has allocated $8.53 million in federal Cares Act funding for Paterson to cover expenses incurred addressing the pandemic. Sayegh administration is nowhere near spending the full amount that expires at the end of the year, according to municipal and county officials.

Sayegh administration officials issued the memorandum without consultation with the City Council.

“Why now? I have a lot of questions for the administration,” said council president Flavio Rivera. “They have not had any discussions with us pertaining to any reasoning behind it — any financial reasons.”

Members of the City Council passed an introduced transition year budget earlier in the month. There was no mention of a furlough by Sayegh administration officials during the discussion on the budget.

Sayegh’s business administrator gave a presentation on the budget at the August 11 council meeting. Her presentation made no mention of a furlough.

“There should have been a conversation,” said council vice president Lilisa Mimms. Many employees live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to lose 13 days of pay from October to March, she said.

Mimms said council members were not informed of the furlough.

“Furlough was not in the budget plan at all,” said councilman Luis Velez. “It’s ridiculous. It creates worry [among employees].”

Velez said Sayegh administration officials talked about a surplus and avoiding tax increases during the introduced budget presentation.

“Where’s the surplus?” asked Velez. He said the mayor told him switching from fiscal to calendar year would avert a furlough.

Sayegh said the switch to a calendar year gave the city “budgetary breathing room.” He said the city is in a better position because of that move.

“He’s like Donald Trump he forgot what he said,” said Velez speaking of Sayegh. He said Sayegh is running his administration like Trump is running the country.

Furlough will generate approximately $1.5 million in savings, said the mayor. It will spare police and fire. But that also limits the amount that could be generated through a furlough.

Sayegh said the furlough, if imposed, would cover himself and his cabinet members.

Sayegh considered layoffs and a furlough in 2019, but later scrapped those plans.

The mayor said his administration is closely monitoring revenues, tax and sewer collections. “If it goes well it will be less likely we’ll have to implement it,” said Sayegh of the furlough plan.

Email: [email protected]

Updated 9:48 a.m.

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  • John Brown

    POS. Mayor.

  • John

    Why is it that Democrat ran cities are always the only ones with these problems.

    • Ali Erikenoglu

      It's because they have the largest and least wealthy populations in the country.

      • John

        No its.because of.low.IQ like your response shows. Teach your kids to be successful winners, not lovers. Patersonians along with most liberals are loswers

        • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

          I live in Paterson and I agree.i pray for a miracle to be able to move.Not on any assistance so it may take a while.The only way I survive is due to being a severe introvert. Every time I do go out,I am shocked and disgusted.yes low iq in the majority of residents here.i have yet to find anyone here to here to have an intelligent conversation or debate with.

  • bigron

    Andre Sayegh needs to be permanently furloughed to reduce the sufferings of the citizens of Paterson.

  • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

    Velez really? You have to insert President Trump into your statement? did you cash your stimulus check? Did trump take it back to furlough you? omg.There's no question why Paterson is one of the worst places in the state. Does Paterson hand pick most of its employees according to the lowest IQ results? Maybe. To match the similar IQ of most of its residents and officials.