NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A judge has given police, fire and city employees in Orange a reprieve from threatened layoffs.

State Superior Court Judge Patricia Costello delayed ruling on the dispute until Tuesday. About 50 workers had faced layoffs Friday.

A lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of workers’ unions claims the city hasn’t conducted meaningful negotiations since October.

Orange Mayor Eldridge Hawkins Jr. said the layoffs were prompted by a $6.4 million budget deficit. Ten police officers face layoffs and 16 supervisors face demotion. The police department has roughly 100 employees.

A total of 12 firefighters face layoffs or demotion. Additional layoffs would be spread around other city departments.

Hawkins said concessions from the unions are needed to save jobs.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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