Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Toronto saved $33M during strike

The City of Toronto says it saved more than $33 million during the civic workers strike this summer — but it's unlikely any of that money will be directly handed back to taxpayers.

The 39-day strike by about 30,000 municipal employees left most residents of Canada's largest city with no residential garbage or recycling collection. City-run daycares and summer day camps were closed, along with swimming pools and most other city services.

On Tuesday, a report to the City of Toronto executive committee pegged the savings at a total of $33.2 million.

The report says the city reduced costs of by a total of $36.1 million in overall savings — a further $1.2 million was saved by Toronto Water.

But dealing with the city's garbage mountains actually increased costs for the city's Solid Waste Management Services by $4.1 million.

Overall the savings add up to $33.2 million, the report says.

One glaring expense was the overtime paid to the approximately 3,000 management and non-union staff that stayed on the job during the work stoppage.

The city paid more than $25 million in overtime — that works out to more than $8,000 per employee over the 39-day period.

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