De Blasio says he and nearly 500 employees in his office to take furlough


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and nearly 500 employees of his office will take five days of furlough between October and March in an effort to save $1 million from the cash-strapped municipal budget, the city said Wednesday.

"The folks who work here throughout this [coronavirus] crisis, they have not been working 35- or 40-hour weeks. They've been working 80-hour weeks, 90-hour weeks, 100-hour weeks, because they believe in this city, and they've been fighting for all of you," de Blasio said at a news conference Wednesday. "So, it is with pain that I say they and their families will lose a week's pay. But it's something we have to do."

De Blasio said there is a chance the furlough would extend to the rest of the city's 300,000 workforce and pledged to avoid a property tax increase to plug budget holes caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"That's off the table, period," he said of a property tax increase. "People in this city are hurting, in a way that is unprecedented."

DeBlasio said city schools — set to reopen Monday — recorded nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear whether the cases were staff or students.

New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said students aren't guaranteed live instruction on every day they're learning remotely — a reversal of assurances that there would be some live learning for students on days they are not in the classroom.

"Some of your education remotely will be asynchronous, and that can still be very rigorous assignments, very rigorous lessons that students complete," Carranza said, using jargon for when a student does not have live instruction online.

Carranza’s concession appears to apply only to students whose families opted for so-called blended education — meaning some days are in-person in the school building, and others remotely.

He said that "as we continue to ramp up" with more teaching personnel, "We're going to continue to add capacity to provide and meet our goal, which is synchronous instruction every single day."

Raytheon Technologies Corp. plans to eliminate more than 15,000 jobs this year at its corporate offices, jet engine-maker Pratt & Whitney, and aviation and military equipment manufacturer Collins Aerospace amid the downturn in the airline industry, Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes said Wednesday.

The job cuts at the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company are nearly double the total it initially announced in July.

Hayes, speaking during a Morgan Stanley analysts conference via webcast, said the cuts amount to administrative cost reductions of about 20% at Pratt & Whitney, based in East Hartford, Connecticut, and about 12% at Collins Aerospace, based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Pratt & Whitney has seen shop visits decline 60% since the second quarter, and Collins Aerospace saw a 65% drop in commercial spare parts orders, Hayes said, noting global commercial air traffic is down about 45% amid the coronavirus pandemic, down from an 80% drop in March.

Raytheon is seeking $2 billion in cost reductions and $4 billion in cash conservation this year, he said.

The company’s defense-related business, however, remains strong, Hayes said.

Raytheon shares closed at $62.92 Wednesday, up $1.48.

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