Planning for $70M financial loss, 400 Jersey City City Hall workers now eligible for buyouts

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With the City of Jersey City planning for a $70 million financial loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 400 Jersey City City Hall workers – with a combined salary of about 22.7 million – are now eligible for a “voluntary separation package.”

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By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The city will offer a voluntary separation package for those who have 15 years or more of service with the city and applicants will receive $20,000 or 25 percent of their salary – whichever is greater – the mayor’s office announced this morning.

Applicants must respond by April 20th and date of separation will be May 1st.

“We are working every day to get Jersey City healthy and to get past COVID-19, but we are also taking steps to plan long term to avoid hurting homeowners and renters with increased taxes,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.

“The more proactive and aggressive we can be now, the better off we will be in the long term. Government is not immune to the hardships created by this crisis, and all options will have to be on the table to close the gap with layoffs absolutely being a last resort.”

As Jersey City has previously noted, their projected financial exposure amid the COVID-19 health crisis is an anticipated budget impact totaling $70 million – $50 million in revenue loss, coupled with $20 million in added expenses, in response to the health crisis. 

To provide further cost savings, the city will be freezing all city employee salary adjustments while also prohibiting any new hires until further notice.

The voluntary separation option follows Friday’s announcement from the Mayor unveiling a Local Relief Program to freeze rent increases within rent-controlled buildings, in addition to matching grants to support small businesses that are facing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The new measures will go before the city council at their next scheduled virtual meeting on Wednesday, April 8th, at 6 p.m. which can be viewed live at www.jcnj.org/vcm.

As of yesterday, there were 1,411 coronavirus cases in Jersey City and 38 confirmed fatalities, according to Fulop.

Additionally, the New Jersey Department of Health revealed that there are 3,924 COVID-19 cases in Hudson County, along with 87 deaths – both the third most in the state by county.