Miami-Dade job, service cuts set to begin
By Risa Polansky
Service cuts needed to fill a $31.3 million Miami-Dade budget gap are to be outlined as soon as this week — with layoffs to follow.
It's unclear now how many will lose jobs, but because the county is beginning to fill the budget hole mid-fiscal year — after staffers have collected half a year's pay — more people could be hit.
Hypothetically, if layoffs were to cover the full deficit, more than 1,000 employees could be let go assuming an average $50,000 annual salary. The county after repeated requests did not provide the actual average.
But it's more complicated than that, and administrators themselves don't yet know how many layoffs to expect.
The county estimates a $119.5 million total budget hole, fallout from unresolved union contracts.
Reserves and unbudgeted carryover money are to cover about $83.7 million. That leaves $35.8 million, less $4.5 million in recaptured unspent community organization funding.
The county plans line-item budget trims, service cuts and layoffs to cover the remaining $31.3 million.
"What we're going to do is figure out what service adjustments are necessary in order to close the gap," budget chief Jennifer Glazer-Moon said Tuesday. "People deliver service, so [for] any service adjustment, some number of positions is going to be eliminated."
A complicated system that lets some workers "bump" into other positions because of seniority and other factors makes it tough to tell now how many people will be let go.
After closing $800 million in budget gaps and cutting 3,500 posts over the past three years, few funded vacant jobs remain.
So chances are, Ms. Glazer-Moon said, "most of the people affected this round will be layoffs."