JERSEY CITY, NJ - Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced Monday that city employees with more than 15 years of service with Jersey City will be offered a voluntary separation package. The effort comes as one of the first steps local officials are taking to combat the anticipated $70 million budget impact COVID-19 will have on the municipal budget of Jersey City 

There are currently over 400 employees eligible for the voluntary package with a combined total salary of $22.7 million. Fulop said, and applicants will receive $20,000 or 25 percent of their salary, whichever is greater. Applicants must respond by April 20 and May 1 will be official day of separation.

“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,” Fulop said. “The more proactive and aggressive we can be now, the better off we will be in the long term.”

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“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.”

Included in Jersey City’s projected financial exposure amid the COVID-19 health crisis is $50 million in revenue and $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 of  a Local Relief Program to freeze rent increases within rent-controlled buildings, in addition to a program of local grants to support small businesses that are facing financial hardships due to the current COVID-19 crisis. 

“As local governments nationwide face devastating financial fallout, here in Jersey City we’re working to mitigate the community impacts as much as is possible, but the help needed at the local level from state and federal government is significant,” Fulop concluded.

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