March 24, 2009 / 11:30 PM / 10 years ago

New York governor aims to trim 8,900 state workers

NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) - About 8,900 New York state workers stand to lose their jobs through layoffs and attrition because their unions spurned other ways of saving money, a budget spokesman said on Tuesday.

“The governor has repeatedly said ... that this is not where we wanted to end up and this is not a good outcome,” said spokesman Jeffrey Gordon.

Trimming this many state workers will save $481 million, Gordon said. New York’s economy has slid with Wall Street and Governor David Paterson and legislative leaders earlier on Tuesday said revenues had fallen another $2.2 billion, which widened next year’s deficit to at least $16 billion.

The head of one of the biggest unions, Civil Service Employees Association President Danny Donohue, said in a statement: “We’ve been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but if Governor Paterson really believes that putting nearly 9,000 New Yorkers out of work is a good idea, he really is out of touch with life on Main Street.”

One of the Democratic governor’s cost savings that the unions rejected was deferring five days of pay until the economy improves or they retire, Gordon said.

Though the state employs a total of about 200,000 workers, only about 141,000 of these are under the governor’s control. The rest work for state universities, the comptroller or the legislature, for example, Gordon noted. (Reporting by Joan Gralla; Editing by Gary Hill)

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