About 500 Dallas employees have been furloughed as the city continues to fight its coronavirus budget crunch, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and City Manager TC Broadnax announced Friday. The furloughs have been handed out across 10 departments, according to a letter from Broadnax to city employees.
"The city manager notified the City Council of his decision on the furloughs this morning. Although I knew such measures were likely, my heart continues to break at the news of more economic pain for people in our city," Johnson said in a statement Friday afternoon. "Further difficulties may still be ahead as we face historic budget shortfalls caused by COVID-19. But I want to assure City of Dallas employees and the people of Dallas that I will continue to advocate for equity and fairness as we seek federal assistance and work to reduce our expenses while maintaining as many key services as possible."
Broadnax expects a budget shortfall of $25 million during the current fiscal year, he said in the letter. Next year, the city manager expects a shortfall of between $73 and $134 million.
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"This furlough does not impact essential workers or our ability to deliver core services to the residents of Dallas. Employees deemed non-essential currently approved for Telework will continue in that status until further notice. I know it is challenging and sincerely thank you for your continued professional and important work providing excellent service to Dallas residents," Broadnax wrote.
Affected employees will be furloughed from May 12 through July 31. They will remain on the city's health insurance plan.
The furloughs could be extended beyond July 31, according to a separate memo from Broadnax.
All furloughed employees will be eligible to receive federal unemployment benefits.