Jersey City Offers Financial Buyout to 400 City Employees Amidst COVID-19 Budget Crisis

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As the coronavirus continues to hit Jersey City pretty hard — with above 2,000 cases reported — Mayor Steven Fulop has announced a buyout to more than 400 city employees. According to Fulop, any municipal employees with over 15 years of experience will be offered either $20,000 or 25% of their salary {whichever is the greater amount} if they “voluntarily quit.”

The buyout has been announced amidst the city’s projected loss of $70 million — $50 million in revenue and $20 million in emergency expenses — in large part due to the coronavirus. Here’s what you need to know:

jersey city financial buy out

The Details

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

The buyout seeks to make up for the $70 million deficit while minimizing the layoffs that might prove necessary when the COVID-19 outbreak subsides. The City is also attempting to minimize future tax increases.

See More: NJ Orders Non-Essential Construction to Cease Friday, Grocery Stores Allowed 50% Capacity, Face Masks Required

“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 continued.

City employees with more than 15 years under their belt are asked to voluntarily quit, making more than 400 workers eligible. Any employees interested in accepting the $20,000 deal {or 25% of their salary}, should respond by April 20th, 2020. These employees will then “voluntarily quit” by May 1st.

“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,” Fulop added.

Beyond the BuyOut

hoboken jersey city coronavirus news

That’s not all the Jersey City government is planning to do in order to make up for such massive losses. Changes to salaries {raises, for example} will be put on a freeze and no new hires will be made until further notice.

Earlier in March, Fulop confirmed that the city expects to lose a total of $70 million due to coronavirus. About $50 million of that is from lost revenue since businesses have had to close, layoffs have to be made, and of course the suspension of certain fines and fees that the city government collects. Another $20 million is a part of that loss project because of “unanticipated emergency purchases,” like health benefit increases and employees working overtime.

Read More: 14 Headlines You Missed in Hoboken + Jersey City This Week

Jersey City has seen 59 deaths in total as of April 9th. Confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 are as high as 2,071 as of this writing and Jersey City became the first New Jersey municipality to report at least 1,000 cases last week.

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Stephanie Osmanski writes honest things about health, the planet, and being a woman. Her words have appeared on Business Insider, Parade, Eat This Not That, Dogster, Scary Mommy, Green Matters, Parents, Seventeen, Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, and more. Her articles have been syndicated on World Economic Forum, MSN, MSN UK, and MSN Canada. In her free time, Stephanie and her registered therapy dog, Koda, volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.