City's pandemic furloughs hit women, people of color hardest, Minneapolis report finds
June 8, 2021
When Minneapolis leaders announced plans last year for furloughs of hundreds of city workers amid a pandemic-driven financial crisis, they said they were doing all they could to spread the pain evenly. But in reality, women - especially women of color - bore the brunt of austerity measures designed to help fill an estimated $156 million budget hole, according to a new internal report.
The "action review" found that nearly 72% of the 365 female employees who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) were forced to take unpaid days off. The as-yet-unpublished report said that the city's cost-saving process had been opaque and needlessly rushed, while failing to live up to the city's publicly stated commitment to racial equity.
"The pandemic was used as the reason this could not have been done as the city was 'bleeding money' that needed to be stopped immediately. Or it was used as an anomaly," wrote the report authored by members of the City Coordinator's Office.