Strike savings calculated

The City of Windsor’s finance department released a report on Sept. 28 stating that the city saved a total of $5,716,209 during the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) strike this past summer.

The strike of city workers under CUPE 543 and CUPE local 82 began April 15 and lasted over 14 weeks.

Garbage and recycling, as well as daycare and bylaw enforcement, were among the many municipal services affected.

While over $15 million was saved in freezing payments of union members’ salaries, wages and benefits, the costs of contracting out services, paying overtime wages and legal fees amounted over $5.7 million.

The city also lost $5.5 million from social programs that were cancelled due to the strike.

The report presented options the city could take to reimburse the citizens of Windsor for the strike.

Tony Ardovini, deputy treasurer of financial planning for the City of Windsor, explained that options include reducing property taxes in 2010 or providing a grant to taxpayers.

As the City of Toronto chose to provide a grant to its citizens following its strike savings report, Ardovini expects that Windsor will choose a similar route.

Originally scheduled to go to council on Oct. 5, the presentation of the options has been postponed until Oct. 26 for a decision to be reached.