ALBANY—David Paterson just left an event to honor women leaders without taking questions from reporters about reported layoffs.
The layoffs were detailed in a memo sent to state agency commissioners by Dennis Whalen, director of state operations.
Last fall, public employee unions said they would not open their contracts, as Paterson and other state leaders searched for ways to save money. Whalen writes in the memo that it "left the state with no other option to achieve needed savings other than implementing a Workforce Reduction Plan. This plan is expected to result in a state workforce reduction equivalent to approximately 8,900 employees."
NY1's Josh Robin yelled out to Paterson as he walked away from the event, but the governor declined to answer questions from waiting press.
Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith put out a statement saying
"These are difficult times and no segment of the state is immune to the harsh reality of the fiscal crisis. We urge the union leadership who represent the public sector workforce to step up and renegotiate a fair agreement that is consistent with the principle of shared sacrifice all New Yorkers must accept during times of economic distress. Public employees are among the most vital contributors to our workforce, but at the same time, they must also be our partners as we strive to change the structure of our state's budget and get New York's economy back on track."
UPDATE: I mis-transcribed one of the quote above from the memo. It is correct now.