Trenton layoff of 150 employees approved by the state

Trenton’s plan to lay off 150 employees has been approved by the state and will go into effect on Sept. 16.

The city hopes to save more than $5.4 million from the layoffs, which will include 108 police officers.

According to a release from the administration of Mayor Tony Mack, the first-year savings will be reduced due to unemployment costs, but will still amount to over $5 million from decreased salary, health care and other fringe benefit costs. In Fiscal Year 2013 when the city gets the full benefit and no unemployment costs the savings are estimated between $8 million and $10 million.

The layoffs will come in seven city departments and agencies including administration, police, Health & Human Services, Public Works, Inspections, Recreation, Natural Resources & Culture, and the Municipal Court.

This is the third mass layoff by the troubled city in the past three years. In January 2009, a total of 64 employees lost their jobs, followed by 85 in November 2010.  That plan also included 39 demotions.

The city is facing a $9.3 million budget shortfall in its most recent budget due to a reduction in state aid and increased costs for salaries, health benefits, pensions and debt service, and is working to close the gap.

Last year, Mack proposed layoffs of 11 police officers and 61 firefighters.  A federal grant spared the firefighters and Mack left the police department intact, at the time saying the city’s crime rate could not afford a reduced police presence.

Trenton layoff of 150 employees approved by the state