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Over 1,000 New York City parks workers expected to lose their jobs due to budget cuts

Over 1,000 NYC parks workers expected to lose their jobs due to budget cuts
Over 1,000 NYC parks workers expected to lose their jobs due to budget cuts 02:28

NEW YORK -- More than 1,000 New Yorkers who help keep city parks clean are expected to lose their jobs because of the budget cuts announced in November.

On a December day, city park workers pick up trash and leaves at Reverend T. Wendell Foster Park and Recreation Center in the Bronx.

"We want to make sure broadly that every New Yorker has access to clean, green, safe parks and open spaces," said Adam Ganser, executive director of New Yorkers for Parks.

CBS New York's Jennifer Bisram looking into NYC budget cuts and impact on critical services 07:29

But budget cuts to New York City's Parks Department could result in a filthy city and a loss of over 1,400 jobs, including the agency's Parks Opportunity Program, which provides low-income New Yorkers green jobs while providing them education and job training.

"You're gonna see more trash in parks. Bathrooms, if they are open at all, are going to be places you're not gonna want to be," Ganser said. "We're gonna see cuts that are basically larger than what we saw during COVID."

CBS New York has learned the Parks Department manages 14% of landmass in the city; that's more than 30,000 acres of land, which includes city pools, recreation centers, basketball courts and beaches. All would be impacted.

Advocates say after budget cuts, city parks that would normally be cleaned five times a week, would only be cleaned once or twice a week.

Councilman Shekar Krishnan chairs the city's Parks and Recreation Committee.

"The City Council has shown there's $1.5 billion of revenue the administration has not recognized," he said.

He says the city's tax revenue is up, and the city should do a serious audit of every agency instead of doing wasteful spending and drastic cuts that will eventually cripple New Yorkers.

"What you are doing is really pushing New Yorkers and families off of a fiscal cliff," he said.

The city's Parks Department released a statement to CBS New York that reads in part:

"The city is facing an extraordinarily challenging fiscal situation, and every agency has needed to find savings in order to balance the overall budget and Parks is no exception. We will do everything we can to minimize impact to the cleanliness of our parks."

"To cut parks, to cut libraries, these are tiny savings for a city and really cutting New Yorkers off at the knees," Ganser said.

The fight to keep New York City clean, green and safe continues.

The city's largest public union that represents parks and sanitation workers has filed a lawsuit against the city over the budget cuts.

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